Skip to content

A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths @rebeccagriffit7 @BooksSphere @AnneCater @MillieSeaward #APlacetoLie

August 29, 2019

Source: Review copy
Publication: 22 August 2019 2019 from Sphere
PP: 400
ISBN-13: 978-0751562019

In a dark, dark wood

In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.

There was a dark, dark house

Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?

Two young sisters, Caroline, 13 and Joanna, 9 are sent to stay with their great aunt Dora, a woman  with a colourful background, in a small village. Already these two children have been through a great deal. Their father has died; drowned in the most tragic of circumstances and their mother is distraught with grief and unable to cope.

Caroline is the magpie, always attracted by bright things; Joanna the more studious and creative, she will grow up to become a renowned pianist.

Caroline feels her mother’s grief most acutely, she shoulders some of the responsibility for it and it weighs heavily on her. In the Forest of Dean, though, there are things that take her mind away from their mother’s grief. The attractive local bad boy, Dean Fry is one of those things.

Told in a two timelines, the present day and the summer of 1990, A Place to Lie begins with Caroline’s death and looks backwards for answers to Joanna’s questions about why she died.

Rebecca Griffiths weaves a lavishly plotted tale in which all the characters in the Forest of Dean village of Witchwood are brought to rich life in a well described environment where you can feel the damp seeping through the cottage walls as well as smelling the cigarettes from the Sobraines smoked by the constant visitor to Dora’s cottage, Gordon Hooper.

Joanna and Ellie are friends, but Caroline is jealous. She’s jealous of a lot at the moment, but especially she is jealous of Amy, who flirts with Dean Fry. Caroline knows though that it is her Dean likes because Joanna has told her so. And after all, didn’t he find her a job in his family’s pub, clearing tables and glasses, so it must be true.

There are many, many secrets in this village. Caroline can guess at some of them, and she knows that there are people here who make her feel very uneasy indeed.

Griffiths elegantly infuses her surroundings with darkness, mystery and a slow building tension that is always there, building so that when you realise you are holding your breath, it comes as a bit of a surprise.

Atmospheric, creepy and threaded through with dark and twisted moments of real violence and cruelty, Griffiths has presented a picture of adults who ought never to be put in charge of anything, far less children.

As Joanna’s memories stretch back over the years in order to allow her to determine what really happened between her and her sister to make them estranged, she also has find out why Caroline was living in fear.

The answers to her questions will only be found by going back to Witchwood, but it is a journey she will make at her own peril.

Verdict: A twisted, dark, rural noir laden with creepy and suspicious characters and a plot that is both emotional and unexpected.

HiveBooks                        Waterstones                    Amazon

Rebecca Griffiths grew up in rural mid-Wales and went on to gain a first class honours degree in English Literature. After a successful business career in London, Dublin and Scotland, she returned to mid-Wales where she now lives with her husband, a prolific artist, their three vampiric cats as black as night, and pet sheep the size of sofas.

See what others are saying; follow the blog tour

From → Crime, Thriller

3 Comments
  1. Rebecca Griffiths permalink

    Thank you, Mary, for this amazing and closely-read review! I’m thrilled you enjoyed your read and your endorsement means the world! Thank you so for taking part in the book blog tour and for sharing your love for the book. Would you be able to put this review up on Amazon and Goodreads for me, as I really think it would help to spread the word even more as these are the places most potential readers look to see if a book is worth reading! You are so kind, thank you again for your wonderful praise for my book, you’ve made my day! With my very best wishes and grateful thanks, Rebecca Griffiths x

    Like

    • Of course, I always put reviews on both those sites and on Waterstones, too. Sometimes takes Amazon a while to approve though.

      Like

  2. rebecca griffiths permalink

    You are so kind, thank you Mary! x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mrs. Peabody Investigates

International crime fiction, TV and film

Book Bound

For the love of books...

CookingTheBooks

Feeding the soul one story at a time.

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Love the Smell of a Book

Reading, reviewing and sharing the love for our favourite books for adults, teens and children

BookBathBrew

The Perfect Way to Spend an Evening

Brianne's Book Reviews

Books, Books, Books!

For the Love of Meg

A Blog for all the Books I love to read and all the Films I love to watch

Always Need More Books

Books...need I say more?

Fantastic Reads

"It was impossible of course, but when did that ever stop a dreamer from dreaming?" -Strange The Dreamer by Lani Taylor

Curled up with a good book

Honest Book Reviews, Meet the Author, Blog Tours, Cover Reveals & More!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff

HERDING CATS

General ramblings of a busy person

%d bloggers like this: