It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.
Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact, he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.
One morning, Greer Dobbins gets the kind of phone call that every parent dreads. Her five-year-old daughter, Ellie, didn’t show up in class after riding the bus to school. In a panic, Greer pieces together the evidence she finds in her house that her ex-husband Neill, has kidnapped the child and fled back to their homeland of Scotland.
Her passport is missing, but between the police and Federal authorities, she manages to catch a flight to Edinburgh, with the hopes of recovering her child. On the plane, Greer meets a man named James, who shares her love for art history. She tells him everything, and they exchange numbers with the hope they will meet again in a professional capacity.
Greer is from Scotland, so she has plenty of support from her mother, sister, Sylvie, and her sister’s boyfriend. Scotland Yard is involved in the search for Ellie and little by little, Greer reveals a terrible past while married to her ex-husband. Neill’s gambling addiction is what ended their marriage, and once back in Scotland, Greer discovers that this is the reason he has kidnapped their daughter. The story builds on the tension until the end, spinning a satisfactory gothic tale.
I loved the rich descriptions of Edinburgh. You definitely feel like you are walking the streets next to Greer, searching for Ellie. You can feel the rain and the cold, and a couple times, I swear I could smell the scents of the local cuisine.
Greer’s character is flawed, although I suspect this was caused by the abuse she suffered at the hand of her ex-husband. At times she seems almost clinical, lacking in emotions. Much of her pain is internalized, and she portrays the damsel in distress perfectly. It is through the love of James that Greer finally tries to reconcile her past.
As in most gothic novels, the actual house on Candlewick Lane is creepy and filled with dark passages and rooms. You feel the evil emanate from the structure and from the people who live there. Numerous times I cringed at the abuse Greer was forced to endure. The ending was a total surprise and one I didn’t see coming.
Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 Fairies
Author, Amy M. Reade
USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s standalone novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Most recently, she has been working on The Malice series, set in the United Kingdom.
A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling. She loves cooking, reading, and travel. You can visit her website, http://www.amymreade.com, where, in addition to information about her books and appearances, you will find a contact form, suggested playlists to go along with her novels, and notes and recommendations on wines.
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