Monday, March 5, 2018

Review: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . . 

When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure--a silent companion--that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition--that is, until she notices the figure's eyes following her.

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect--much like the silent companions themselves.

 Paperback, 320 pages
 Expected publication: March 6th 2018
 by Penguin Books

I have been shying away from contemporary psychological thrillers these days, I find they lack the creepy, suspenseful, on the edge of your seat feel.  And to be totally honest I had given up hope of obtaining an arc (of The Silent Companion) from netgalley when I requested back in the fall.  When I did receive this last week I jumped right in blind, totally forgetting what this book was about but being familiar with the author I knew I was in good hands.

The Silent Companions is the type of eerie, suspenseful, spooky, mysterious book that I love, add the historical setting and I was glued to the pages.  There are two time periods involved here, 1635 and 1865 that are connected by The Bridge, an estate that the locals stay away from because of its dark history.

Laura Purcell does a great job setting the mood for this story, with it's locked doors, strange noises and equally interesting characters (real and wooden) and of course an old diary.  Because of the time periods involved the mystically elements fit right in, witch's were believed to exist and the way everything was presented felt authentic.  Definitely shows the authors knowledge of the time period.  While I didn't get that scared feeling I was totally captivated here, I had to keep reading to find out what was going on. 

I like the cover above but think the UK version is also great.

Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.

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