‘A thriller about a shocking disappearance – and a community that conspires to keep the truth buried’
– The Village
[ About the Book ]
Ten years ago, the Harper family disappeared. Their deserted cottage was left with the water running, the television playing cartoons, the oven ready for baking. The doors were locked from the inside.
Overnight, the sleepy village of Nighbrook became notorious as the scene of the unsolved mystery of the decade, an epicentre for ghoulish media speculation.
For crime journalist Naomi, solving the case has turned into an obsession. So now, with Ivy Cottage finally listed for sale, it’s her chance to mount an investigation like no other. And her husband and stepdaughter don’t really need to know what happened in their new home… do they?
But Nighbrook isn’t quite the village she expected. No one wants to talk to her. No one will answer her questions. And as she becomes increasingly uneasy, it’s clear that the villagers are hiding something—that there is something very dark at the heart of this rural idyll. And the deeper she digs, the more it seems her investigation could be more dangerous than she ever imagined… In raking up the secrets of the past, has she made her own family the next target?
[ My Review ]
The Village by Caroline Mitchell was just published with Thomas & Mercer January 18th. In the words of Caroline Mitchell ‘in the fictional village of Nighbrooke, you have to watch your back because villagers know a lot more than they are letting on.’
Naomi is after a simpler life. Moving away from the bright lights and noises of the city, she embarks on a rather ill-advised adventure to the village of Nighbrook. After years spent delving into the underbelly of crime, Naomi is looking forward to a slower-paced existence with a rose-tinted view of her future. Now married to Ed, a successful film producer, and stepmother to his sullen teenage daughter, Morgan, Naomi plans to establish herself as a cake-baker and immerse herself into rural living. But Naomi has an alternative agenda that she has neglected to tell Ed about. The house they have purchased, Ivy Cottage, was the scene of an unsolved case where a family suddenly disappeared ten years ago. Naomi loves a challenging mystery and decides to snap up the property without Ed seeing it, with a plan to dig deeper into the history of this house in a hope of finally unlocking its secrets. Ed completely trusts Naomi’s judgement and agrees to the house purchase without ever viewing it as he is caught up with work.
As soon as Naomi steps over the threshold she has a sense of something bad and doubts enter her mind about her rather erratic decision. Morgan clearly does not want to be there and creates difficulties for Naomi but after years dealing with criminals, Naomi is unphased by her antics. But when things start to go bump in the night Naomi is faced with the possibility that it’s not just Morgan acting up, making her life difficult.
From the beginning the villagers of Nighbrook are distant with something very much off-kilter about their behaviour. Secrets are buried deep in this community and they plan to protect their status quo at any cost. Naomi and her family will be dealt with, as others have before. A darkness permeates through the residents and it’s not too long before Naomi feels their stares and their unwillingness to accept her and her family into their fold. What does their silence mean? What are the villagers of Nighbrook afraid of that Naomi could discover?
Unfortunately I did find Naomi’s behaviour and actions quite bizarre from the outset and, also, quite selfish. On occasion I felt the plot stretched my imagination a bit too far, but the writing was solid enough for me to persist.
Overall The Village is a sinister read, at times reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation. With a very creepy cast of characters set in a small country village unwelcoming of newbies, The Village is a disturbing tale with more than one unexpected twist and turn.
[ Bio ]
A former police detective, Caroline Mitchell now writes full-time.
She has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims—high-risk victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences. The mental strength shown by the victims of these crimes is a constant source of inspiration to her, and Mitchell combines their tenacity with her knowledge of police procedure to create tense psychological thrillers.
Originally from Ireland, she now lives in a pretty village on the coast of Essex with her husband and three children.
Website – www.caroline-writes.com
Twitter – @caroline_writes