A perfect life … until she discovered it wasn’t her own
A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life. Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.
I was fortunate to meet Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books at an Aye Write event in Glasgow. While I was buying the book (Dave Ross’ Miraculous Vespas) at the event, she whipped out another from her copious handbag and said she thought I might like this one, too.
That book was In Her Wake – and Karen was right, I did like it – very much. In fact it made me cry – not something I do all that often when reading a book.
This is a beautifully written book, exploring family secrets and relationships and how they shape our lives and become the foundation for everything we do.
Bella is married to David, a man much older than herself. He is a dominant figure in her life, even choosing her job for her. She is on her way to her mother, Elaine’s, funeral. When Bella and David arrive, the air is full of tension. It is clear that Henry has something he needs to say to Bella, but somehow he just can’t bring himself to speak the words. This is a strange household; it isn’t just the grief for her mother, there is more here that we are to learn about as the book progresses.
Events take a dramatic turn as we learn that Henry was complicit in a terrible crime; a crime that has already turned Bella’s life upside down and which will now change her life forever.
Detaching herself from everyone and everything she knows, Bella goes to Cornwall and begins the process of finding out who she is and what it is she really wants. What she learns is deeply uncomfortable and as the book progressed I found it working hard on my emotions until I felt like I knew these people really well and was drawn into understanding their anguish.
A well plotted book with excellent characterisation, In Her Wake pulls you in until you can’t put it down. Utterly compelling and highly recommended.
In Her Wake was published by Orenda Books on 1 April 2016