Wednesday 26 January 2022

BLOG TOUR: The Key in the Lock - Beth Underdown

'I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire...'

By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy - one whose death decades ago haunts her still.

For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

From the award-winning author of The Witchfinder's Sister comes a captivating story of burning secrets and buried shame, and of the loyalty and love that rises from the ashes.

What did I think?

I've had my eyes peeled for her next novel since reading Beth Underdown's stunning debut, The Witchfinder's Sister, so I was delighted to be given an advance copy of The Key in the Lock to read and review for the blog tour.

The very first line ('I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire...') sets the dark, haunting scene and blows air on the smouldering ember that Ivy has buried for 30 years.  With a dual timeline the tragic events of 1888 are slowly revealed as Ivy grieves for her son in 1918.  Ivy is haunted by the deaths of two boys taken too soon and it reawakens her need to find out what really happened in 1888.

Part gothic mystery and part tragic love story, The Key in the Lock is a beautifully written slow-burner that smoulders with the tension of long buried secrets.  The writing is so evocative that it draws you into the story and I could almost feel curls of smoke gently caressing my skin as I found myself fully immersed in Ivy's story.  It's a book to be savoured rather than devoured and it's the perfect book to read by the fire on a cold winter's night.

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