Emily Proudman has been offered the chance of a lifetime – leave her messy London life, move to a beautiful estate in France and help her boss’s wife take care of their daughter. It seems like the perfect opportunity to start again.
But once there, Emily soon starts to suspect that her charismatic new employers aren’t telling her the whole truth. That there are even dangerous secrets beneath the glamourous facade.
Why have the family been moved to this isolated house so far from home? Why does her bosses’ daughter refuse to speak or be touched? Why are there whispers in the night?
The only problem is, the more Emily knows, the less chance there is she will ever be able to leave…
Only a few more days to wait for publication of this sinister crime thriller. This started very slowly but a sense of disquiet was evident from the beginning. We are all familiar with the saying, ‘too good to be true’ and for Emily this really is the case. The reader knows from the outset that she has been handpicked for this job and not without a degree of manipulation by her former boss, Scott. But on arrival in France the setting is luxurious and idyllic and her boss’s wife, Nina – is beautiful and charming company. Notwithstanding a few strict rules Emily’s job seems perfect.
Told from the perspectives of Scott and Emily, my initial perceptions of both these key characters were poor, neither were immediately likeable, however as the story unfolded both grew on me and I found myself engrossed in their story.
A difficult book to review without spoilers, so let me tell you this, it is brilliant – after a slow start it became impossible to put down, it is addictive and it is crime fiction, although not a police investigation. This burns slowly and it is not until a substantial way through the story that the true crime is revealed – I was guessing prior to this, as there are secrets aplenty. This is a clever book, it got me thinking and I cautiously suggest there was a moral dilemma for Emily at the end. Some very interesting issues are explored which I liked and despite my initial feelings I felt that all of the main characters were well developed and sympathetic.
I really enjoyed this one and would suggest fans of domestic noir as well as crime fiction and indeed general fiction would enjoy this too. Comparable books aren’t springing to mind but anyone seeking a unsettling story set in a stunning location should pick up The Safe Place.
About the Author
Anna Downes was born in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia. She worked as an actress befor turning to wirting and appeared in television dramas such as Eastenders, Casualty, Holby City and Dlaziel and Pascoe. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition.
The Safe Place was inspired by Anna’s experiences working as a housekeeper on a remote French estate.
This is a blog tour. Huge thanks to Myrto at Hodder Books for inviting me to be involved. You can check out what others are saying about the book using the details below and please do share on social media.