The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds Wildfire E-Book March 31st 2019 and Hardback July 25th 2019
WHAT HAPPENED TO JULIA BLAKE?
She was young and beautiful, married to a famous author. They were celebrating their anniversary at their stunning country estate. So why did Julia Blake walk out of her perfect life, apparently leaving no trace?
Seren, a junior reporter for the local paper, can’t believe her luck when she lands an exclusive with Julia’s husband, Max. But as Seren spends more time at the couple’s remote mansion, probing ever deeper into the case, dark questions await. What was Julia really like, behind closed doors? Was her marriage to this brooding, secretive man as perfect as it seemed? And did she really mean to disappear that night – or was she murdered.
Max famous author, Julia a young beautiful wife who had mysteriously disappeared, Miriam a grumpy assistant and Seren, an inexperienced young journalist all made for a heady mix in Amanda Reynolds novel, The Hidden Wife.
I was immediately drawn to the setting of Max’s home, surrounded by dense woodland and endless fields, its presence majestic and foreboding. Max himself, devilishly handsome and charismatic, but with a dark, brooding side that Reynolds gave us glimpses of during his encounters with Seren. He was a man devastated by his wife’s disappearance, or was he?
That was what Seren set out to discover, She was young, inexperienced and to me slightly naive. lacked worldly experience, but you saw Reynolds push that naivety away as she learnt how to tackle Max, how to shift the power, and gain some control. She had tenacity and determination, could think outside the box, yet hid her own sorrow that gave her that drive to discover what happened to Julia.
Reynolds created a heady mix of intrigue, and I loved how she used Miriam, Max’s assistant, his gateway, the woman whose loyalty knew no bounds, and threw in little one liners, clues to Julia’s disappearance that not only tweaked Seren’s interest but also ours. Just what did she know, who was she protecting were all questions we wanted answers to.
Reynolds certainly knew how to build the tension, to use natures elements to her great effect. The Beast From The East played a major part blanketing the house and its surroundings in deep snow, it created a feeling of isolation and danger that pushed Seren to take risks, that had you holding your breath.
Reynolds skill was her ability to juggle all the varying strands, to throw in little clues before doing an about turn and sending us in a different direction. When all the strands finally came together it wasn’t quite what you expected, but made perfect sense. Your attitude toward some of the characters changed slightly, you felt empathy where once there was none, you felt anger and disgust for those you sympathised with, a real conundrum of emotion that brilliantly turned the story on its head.
You loved Seren and admired her just that little bit more, a character who stood out from the start, the one constant who grew, learnt and matured and you didn’t want to leave her, felt there was more you wanted to learn, that you wanted to follow her future journey. I guess what I am trying to say is that I hope Amanda Reynolds will write another novel, and let us see this young journalist again because I thought she was wonderful.
I would like to thank Wildfire Books for a copy of The Hidden Wife to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Amanda Reynolds lives in the Cotswolds with her family where she
writes full-time. Her debut novel, Close To Me, is a #1 e-book bestseller. The Hidden Wife is her third book.
Follow Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaReynoldsJ