by Mark Edwards
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 10 May 2018 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2019
Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer
An Amazon Charts bestseller.
A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.
Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.
Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.
When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…
What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?
From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 128 members
Lucas an author of a successfully selling horror novel has writers block and decides to lock himself away at a writers retreat in North Wales to work on his next book. However, once there he finds himself caught up in the tragedy that be felled the retreat’s owner, Julia. Julia lost her husband and eight year old daughter, but strange events and even stranger haunting local folklore has Lucas intrigued. With secrets galore hidden in a small town it’s only a matter of time before someone feels threatened enough to act. This psychological thriller definitely gives much suspense and is eerily haunting, however, having read all the previous books from this author I was under no illusion I was reading a horror (even though I am a huge horror fan) and although all the alluding to supernatural phenomena was fun to read I knew this would tie up in reality in the end. Fortunately, this did not mean the story was totally predictable, although I did guess a part of it, which did not detract from my enjoyment of this book. Spooky enough to raise your hackles throughout, this is a must read for psychological thriller fans although, not in my opinion the best book from this author.
NOTE TO PUBLISHER I am part of the blog tour for this book so will publish my review on my blog on 9th May as part of the tour - here is what I've written .... I’ve been lucky enough to be one of the very first to read his new book and I’m delighted to report it’s as excellent as his previous work which include his debut The Magpies and the terrifying Follow you Home. My Review In his latest psychological thriller Mark draws on his experience as a writer and bases his newest work around a writers retreat in Wales. A book with a small group of authors as many of its main characters makes the keen reader feel instantly at home and that’s how author Lucas feels when he arrives at the writers retreat run by Julia but his peace of mind is soon to be shattered by a plethora of inexplicable and spooky occurrences. As an established horror writer Lucas should be used to strange goings on but a recent tragedy, the death of his girlfriend have left him shaken and mistrustful. Perhaps this is why he feels drawn to Julia, owner of the old country house she has recently opened the doors of to a host of writers. She too knows the pain of loss, she has never come to terms with the deaths of both her husband and her only daughter Lily. Despite the 2 years have passed since the dreadful accident which took them both from her she is unable to accept that Lily is actually dead, especially since her body was never retrieved from the swollen river which swept her away and in which her father drowned trying to save his daughter. Rural Wales is brimful of legends and myths which should provide the ideal inspiration for Lucas’ writing be he struggles to find the right words, his writing muse has fled. So he immerses himself in local life and listening to the scary legends which include the Red Widow who steals young children and consumes them. Hi fellow writers turn out to be a disparate bunch with whom he has less in common than at first he hoped, and he soon becomes enamoured with the beautiful Julia and takes it upon himself to try and help her by secretly investigating the mystery which remains around her lost daughter. With the help of a young private eye he sets out to find what really happened to Lily, hoping to provide closure for Julia, but he opens up a whole can of nasty wriggling worms that twine ever more tightly around him and he ends up making matters between them worse and even putting his own life at risk. Local residents are deeply superstitious and secretive and he realises more is being concealed than revealed as he doggedly battles on to uncover the mystery around Lilys disappearance and that 35 years earlier of another pre pubescent girl. It would seem that nobody can be trusted. Nobody is telling the whole truth and it appears that local legends which indicate something supernatural going on seem to have some foundation after all. Despite his sceptiscism, after all as a horror writer he knows things that go bump in the night are firmly made up just to scare people. But when the truth is finally uncovered its far more terrifying than anything he could have dreamt up.
Fantastic book. Real fan of Mark Edwards and this book didn’t disappoint. In depth character development and full of twists
Enjoyed reading a novel set in a (fictional) Welsh location. Throughout many twists I constantly wondered who could commit such a crime.
Having read almost all of his work so far. I couldn’t wait to read The Retreat by Mark Edwards! I follow him on Twitter and Facebook and I’ve been excited about this book since he first announced he was writing it. When the synopsis was revealed, I knew this was going to be another brilliant book from Mark Edwards. As usual, his writing is very good and well paced. There is just so much content there that keeps you constantly guessing how this book would end up. I really enjoyed the build up and the big reveal and couldn’t put it down once the story really started to progress. I was completely thrown by this one and I would never have guessed where it was going. That’s why I love Mark Edwards’ books so much - there are so many clues but so many red herrings thrown in there that the final reveal just feels so rewarding! Very enjoyable and I’ll definitely recommend and read again myself. 4 big stars from me for what I hope will be another Mark Edwards bestseller! A very big thank you to Mark Edwards, NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
A missing girl, unfinished stories, and murder. The Retreat, is an oasis for writers, like Lucas, to finish their books, and Julia, the owner, has an unfinished story of her own. Two years ago, her husband and daughter, Lily, drowned in the river except only one body was recovered, her husbands. After strange events and visitors pop up during Lucas’ stay at the retreat, he is determined to find out what happened to Lily that night. For fans of James Patterson and psychological thrillers, this is a MUST read!!! I never saw the ending coming and the book kept me guessing at every turn. The plot and characters were so well-developed, that I was immediately immersed in the storyline. I would recommend this to anyone looking for thrillers, murder, and finding out the truth.
Okay .. so this book had all the bells ringing for me when I started reading, for reasons that don't mean anything to other readers I am sure, but made me smile. I have a great-niece called Lilly and her brother is Lucas ... Add in the fact the Private Investigator in this book is from an area of Telford just a couple of miles from where I work and ... well. It amused me. Those small coincidences aside, I absolutely devoured this book. Totally a one afternoon sitting kind of a read. As soon as I picked it up I knew i was going to have to set aside any other plans (which were in fairness rather limited) and just devote myself to reading as I was hooked from the off. Setting the scene in the most dramatic of ways - the disappearance of young Lily. So small, so innocent, a scene so totally shocking that took me completely unawares that I was compelled to read on to find out what was going on and why. Cue the main body of the story. Writer Lucas is trying desperately hard to write a follow up to his massively successful novel but struggling to find muse or focus after the loss of his long term partner. Booking himself into a writer's retreat near his hometown, he has no idea of the history of owner Julia, and the tragic story which haunts her. The longer he stays at the retreat, the more he finds out about Julia and her missing daughter, Lily, the more determined he is to help her find peace. As Lucas starts to look into what happened on that fateful day years ago, terrifying things start to happen, not only at the house, but in the neighbouring community, events which put everyone's lives at risk. Man, oh man, what a story. The whole idea of a missing child is bad enough. Who would abduct a young girl and can she possibly still be alive after all this time? But when you take this most harrowing of circumstances and give it a Mark Edwards twist, you are assured of a read which is not only thrilling but, in this case, totally chilling too. Capturing some of the uncertain and creeping edge which underpinned The Devil's Work, and there is a nod to that book in that Julia used to work as an illustrator for Jackdaw, Mr Edwards has pulled together one hell of a read with an undercurrent of unease from start to finish. Mysterious noise in the walls, spirit guides, unexplained voices singing in an empty bedroom - the atmosphere in this book is eerie to say the least, the mystery compelling. What I love about Mark Edwards' work is the way he is able to make you so invested in the characters. He has quite the mixture here, beginning with Lucas, damaged by his personal loss and able to easily identify with Julia as a result. He was a character I warmed to immediately, and this is just as well as the majority of the story is told in first person from his perspective. Julia was harder to get to know but as a quiet character, easy to sympathise with her and her overwhelming sense of loss. The other writers, Karen, Suzi, Max and eventually Ursula make up a real mix of characters, from the slightly odd to the downright rude, but all felt real. Then there are the villagers, all trying to keep their own counsel as secrets from the past do not make for good reading. There is a sense of the otherworldly about this novel, local superstition and folk-lore informing the story in surprising ways. So many suspects to divert your attention and so many people who had made such grave errors in the past which now begin to impact the present. The pacing of the book was spot on, matching the story with slower periods of reflection contrasting against the high tension, heart thumping moments of peril. Skin crawling characterisations kept me on high alert and as segments of the story moved to Lily's perspective in the months leading up to her disappearance, I could feel myself being drawn deeper and deeper into the story. This was quite probably my favourite book so far by this author. Top stuff combining all the things I like in a story - chills, thrills and a good old-fashioned mystery. And then that ending ... Just desserts? Quite possibly but not what I was expecting. Bravo sir.
I finished the retreat by Mark Edwards a few hours ago, and I am still trying to digest it. First off, I found the setting and location intriguing. Some of the characters were a little bit over-the-top, but the main characters were interesting and deep. I got a bit bored halfway through, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The reveals at the end of the book were both exciting and satisfying. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
The Retreat is the latest release from one of my favourite authors, Mark Edwards, and is available to purchase from 10th May onwards. You can catch my reviews of some of Mark's previous books by clicking the following links (be warned, there may be a spot of fangirling): Follow You Home, The Devil's Work & The Lucky Ones (I have read more than these three, but they were pre-blog so no reviews to share. Shame on me!). Normally, after finishing one of this author's books, I sit back and think, 'Wow, could that happen to me!?'. I didn't do that this time, which is probably something I should be relieved about. The story felt a little more 'fictional' than others before it, but that's neither here nor there. This is another fantastic addition to Mark Edwards's catalogue of outstanding psychological thrillers. How does he do it?! Time and time again! (Honestly, if you've never read anything by this author then you are seriously missing out!). You may know me as a die-hard crime fan but I'm also a massive fan of the horror genre and The Retreat is billed as a psychological thriller with a horror twist. If the word 'horror' puts you off then don't fret, it's a not a gruesome, gory slasher fest (which I love, by the way). The horror is provided by a small community's fear of its own fables. A myth handed down through the generations, from parent to trusting, mesmerised child about a witch; the Red Widow. The Retreat shows the reader the terrifying consequences of an urban legend, and the uncomfortable power an adult has over a child's beliefs to tease...and terrify. And ultimately, what terrible damage can be done. Lucas Radcliffe is our main protagonist and possibly my favourite lead in a book ever. He's a horror writer, recently bereaved after the horrific death of his girlfriend and following his one bestseller is struggling to get anything he's even remotely proud of down on paper. That's why a trip to Nyth Bran, a new writers retreat seems like such a good idea. Particularly as it is just down the road from where he grew up as a child and he knows Beddmawr fairly well. That's where he meets Julia, widowed owner of the writers retreat and mother of missing daughter, Lily. Life hasn't been kind to Julia; her daughter disappeared and was believed to have drowned in the River Dee, her husband leapt in to save his daughter only to drown himself. Julia firmly believes that Lily is still alive and convinces Lucas who sets out on his own mission to find the truth. That's when the strangest things start happening at Nyth Bran and to the residents of Beddmawr... Most of the chapters in the book are narrated in real time, but every so often the reader gets to hear from Lily before she went missing back in 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed these chapters and marvelled at how well Edwards managed to replicate an 8-year-old girls voice (I have a 7-year-old daughter myself so feel I'm fairly well qualified to comment!). Would I recommend this book? I would. Read this and every single other book written by Mark Edwards as I can guarantee, you will not be disappointed. If you're looking for a book to make you feel a little on edge, a book to take you to places you never imagined and to witness deeds you never foresaw, then give The Retreat a go. Such a compelling, well-written and accomplished book and one I devoured in just over 24 hours. Mark Edwards remains one of my very favourite authors and can't seem to do anything wrong in my eyes. Four and a half stars out of five. I chose to read and review an eARC of The Retreat. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Mark Edwards is fantastic! I love every book that he writes. His characters are well developed and the story is beautifully thrilling
Happy Publication Day! WOW. Where do I begin? The Retreat is a must buy and must read from me, it has gone straight into my top twenty books of 2018.. A bloody brilliant story that I would recommend to you all. A well deserved five stars. Very Impressed. I love the cover of this story! If that prologue doesn’t grab the readers attention and pull them in then I don’t know what will! A gripping opening that had me intrigued and hooked until I finished the story. I couldn’t put it down, The Retreat is a sleep stealer of a book. This story is a fast paced thriller which is easy to read and contains short chapters. The Retreat is chilling, dark and will have the hairs on your arms standing to attention. It will have you looking over your shoulder and on the edge of your seat until you have devoured it. A story that you cannot read alone with the lights off at night! Creepy. This is one writing retreat which you don’t want to be on. A cleverly written story. Is it true what the old tales say? Will the truth be set free? You will have to read on to find out. Brilliant belter of a book, very high expectations for future books after this one. So did I love this book? I sure did, every chapter of it! Buy it, you won’t be disappointed.
I agreed to read The Retreat without knowing much about it based solely on the fact that it was written by Mark Edwards. His book The Magpies was brilliant and since I read it I’ve been wanting to read more of his books. The Retreat is set in a secluded cottage near a small village in Wales. The owner, Julia, suffered a huge tragedy and has turned her cottage into a writers retreat and author Lucas soon arrives, desperate to get some writing done after producing a best seller but struggling to come up with an idea for his next book. Three other authors are already staying and together they make up a mixed bunch that would never normally be together. Soon strange things start happening and the visitors aren’t sure what’s going on and why. Lucas has picked up on the sad story behind Julia and is determined to investigate what happened in order to give Julia closure. This quickly gets him into trouble, taking the rest of the visitors with him. The question is who will survive? I don’t like horror books, I used to but as I’ve grown older I have to admit that I no longer enjoy being scared. The Retreat isn’t really a horror book, but it is definitely spooky and I’m sure that some might find it scary so be warned. I really liked the first-person account of Lucas’ journey and the story is predominately told by him. The story sucked me right in and kept me hooked and although I thought that the ending was a little bit neat and tidy I enjoyed reading The Retreat. Thank you to Thomas and Mercer for a copy of The Retreat by Mark Edwards. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
When I tweeted my excitement at reading this novel, Mark replied and said he wanted to keep me and other readers up all night. Well, hats off to you sir, you did just that. There will be many many people having read this today on its release date who are looking forward to going to sleep tonight. That’s if the dreams don’t get them that is. There’s something especially thrilling about a writing retreat going wrong. I’ve come across a few in fiction and delight in meeting the characters, seeing what goes on and Mark Edwards gave me such a gift with this lovely lot! Scarred and weighed down with so many secrets, a missing girl believed to have drowned and a hidden chapel in the woods. The locations are fictional thank goodness. Imagine if it was a real retreat! either no one would go now or it would be overpopulated by horror writers. The cover of the book is eerie enough but wait till you get inside.... I rubbed my hands with glee with the twists and turns of these urban legends and stories based n myth and in the deep dark woods, anything can happen. Mr Edwards makes sure of that....
What a page turner. Characters were believable, setting scary, and the plot spine tingling creepy. I would highly recommend this book. I for one could not stop reading it and the more pages turned the deeper I fell. I will be reading more of Mark Edwards book and so should you!
Having read and enjoyed one of Mark Edwards’ previous novels (The Magpies) I was delighted to be invited to join the blog tour for his latest novel, The Retreat. A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets. Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive. Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events. When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect… What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat? I went into The Retreat expecting a thriller, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this had darker undertones and an almost horror story vibe, so much so that I wasn’t entirely sure whether the outcome would be supernatural or whether there would be a rational explanation for everything. I won’t spoil it for you, but I thought that this aspect of the novel worked really well, and it added a little something extra to the missing child story, as I found The Retreat to be an extremely creepy novel, and I loved the atmosphere throughout. The plot was fascinating, and I desperately wanted to know what happened to Lily on that day by the river. The police have all but given up their investigation, convinced that the most obvious answer is the right one and that she drowned, her body swept away by the fast-flowing current. The novel opens with that day by the river before moving forward two years to Lucas’s arrival at the writer’s retreat, and so the reader knows a little more than the characters in the novel, but not much. This was a story that kept me guessing to the very end, and I didn’t even come close to putting together a halfway decent guess as to what had happened. The Retreat is predominantly narrated by Lucas, with a small number of chapters told from Lily’s perspective in the run up to that fateful day at the river. I thought that this structure worked brilliantly, and whilst Lucas’s investigation continues to result in more questions than it answers, the reader gets a little more insight from the Lily chapters, although the who / what / when / where / how remains elusive until the very end. I have to admit that I didn’t really like Lucas all that much, but this didn’t stop me enjoying the novel at all – the story was plenty to keep me engaged. And I REALLY wanted to know what happened to Lily. The Retreat is a brilliant thriller with a hint of the supernatural thrown in and is a novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Just don’t read it in the dark. The Retreat was published on 10 May by Thomas & Mercer and is available in digital and paperback formats. Many thanks to Gabriella Drinkald for the opportunity to read and review this title ahead of its publication.
**I received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review** First time i am reading a book by this author! Read this in one sitting as it caught my attention from the first pages! Very clever twists and quite creepy at times but i must admit, i really enjoyed it!! Will be following this author from now onwards, already purchased ''the magpies'' and cant wait to dive into it!!
This is a disappearing child mystery set at a writers’ retreat. When author Lucas tries to escape writer’s block at a country retreat he finds things going bump in the night. The retreat owner Julia lost her husband and child two years earlier, but the child’s body was never found. So who is singing nursery rhymes in the room next door? There is lots to like about this book, including an atmospheric house and creepy locals. The storyline is well architected - complex but never too hard to follow. It’s almost excellent. Despite ‘Retreat’s’ great plot, the characters never really come to life. And for a thriller to work I need to care about the protagonists. I was never really invested in this book despite the great plot and fluent writing. Lucas is an Everyman protagonist. Most of the book is from his point of view and he doesn’t really have feelings or opinions. Julia, his love interest and the missing child’s mother, just hangs around looking sad yet attractive. With just a bit more life and personality in these two this promising book would be a winner.
4.5 stars! This book was amazing. So atmospheric and creepy and well thought out. The story was executed so well and had me hooked basically from the start! I loved that it was set in a writer's retreat, and that was used as a backdrop to tell a thrilling story. I never knew what to expect and had no predictions about how things would turn out so I was surprised at every turn. I read one of Mark Edwards' books a couple years ago: Follow Me Home, and I loved that one too. Edwards is a brilliant writer, and is really good at leaving subtle hints and clues that foreshadow events to come. A couple times, when things fell into place I was like "Ohhh, that makes so much sense" This book felt so real and creepy and I loved it! Definitely give this one a go if you like creepy and atmospheric thrillers!
This was a damn good spooky story! Lucas, a horror novelist goes away to a writers retreat in hopes of finishing his latest book and becomes enthralled with Julia, the owner of the house whose husband drowned on the property the same day her daughter went missing. Lucas is determined to help Julia find out if in fact her daughter is missing or has died. Strange happenings both in and out of the house begin to interfere with the investigation and add to the overall creepiness of the story. Great ending too! I thank Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book. Highly recommend!
Excellent book. A page-turning thriller that was hard to put down. Urban Myth and Folklore intrigue. Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a well written Psychological Thriller.
Brilliant from start to finish. I read this book in one sitting. I was gripped from the start. A really intriguing story about folklore and fear set in a very atmospheric Welsh village. The characters are so believable. I could visualise everything in my head. It is a really good thriller with a touch of horror. I still have chills down my spine. I have read most of Mark Edwards books and I thoroughly recommend them all.
I have spent the last few days with Mark Edwards at The Retreat. Not in real life may I add but in between the pages of his latest release. The Retreat is my first Mark Edwards book and I feel I have been looking for a thrilling read like this for a long time. Like a fly to a spider I was caught, stunned and well not eaten thank goodness but consumed in great length by the story. When a widow opens a getaway writing retreat, the guests have no idea for the unique and creepy hospitality they are signing up for. Lucas is our leading protagonist and as he tries to find inspiration for his next best seller he is distracted by an array of startling events and he gets caught up in a whole host of drama that could change his life forever. Mark Edwards has a startling ability to build a scene perfectly. You will find yourself in an emotionally driven scene and then jumping out of your skin the next. I am not too proud to admit that I did have to get out of bed and put the ‘big light’ on. I must be extremely careful with my review today because I enjoyed the plot and the fact that it was so twisty turny I didn’t know what was going to happen and I want my readers to have the same read. But what I can say is I was so impressed by the writing, I was never bored or skim read. I cared about the characters and was very eager to see what would happen. So much so that I feel I have a book hangover and whatever I read next will have to be so good to compete with the journey I have just been on. So, book into The Retreat today by buying your own copy. I can guarantee you will never forget your stay.........
This was my first Mark Edwards book and I absolutely loved it. Wow...from the first page right to the very last, this book captured my full attention and sucked me in. I had thought at around 15% that this book was a little creepy and I wasn't sure where it was going to go. The writing was flawless though and as I continued the story grew and grew and I had no idea how it was going to end. Lucas and Julia's characters were great and I loved the chapters we got from Lily's point of view every so often. The story revolves around Julia who lost her husband and daughter two years ago. She decided to open a writers retreat and this is how we meet Lucas. He's grieving the death of his girlfriend and is on a deadline to write his next bestseller. There are others at the retreat too, Karen, Max, and Suzi, and soon enough strange and spooky things start happening. When Lucas decides to hire a private detective to help uncover what really happened to Julia's daughter Lily, things really start to heat up and it seems most of the village is in on it. The finger of suspicion points to one man in particular, but is he really the one to have carried out the deed? This book takes the reader on one hell of a journey and I wasn't expecting things to be revealed the way they were. I was on tenterhooks as the story played out, trying to figure out who the murderer was. I really wasn't expecting things to turn out the way they were. At times I gasped out loud, at times I held my breath, and when I got to end, I didn't want to close the book. This is a story that devoured me whole and I know I will definitely be reading more of Mark's work. He sets the scenes beautifully and I felt like I was right there with Lucas as he scoured the woods and tried to unravel the mystery surrounding Lily's disappearance. Fantastic book that I know will stay with me for quite some time.
Never fails to disappoint- I was very much looking forward to reading the new book by Mark Edwards and it kept me gripped from the get go. Clever writing and great characters. We see Julia opening her home to writers following the death of her husband and the disappearance of her daughter Lily - the story is fast paced and you just want to keep turning the page to see what happens next - highly recommended!!!
I'm a huge fan of Mark's writing already, so I was incredibly eager to read his new book. This felt quite different from his other books, it was spooky and eerie in places but I absolutely adored it. I loved the character of Lucas, and even the other guests at the retreat. It left me guessing right up to the last sentence. Overall my favourite Mark Edwards book! 5*
Omg this book was so creepy....chills, no one wants to hear about missing children. Shudders. Thanks Netgalley for a copy to read and review and give my honest opinion. Lovely creepy cover and outstanding blurb. Lucas Radcliffe is a huge success after his first horror novel but he has writers block when it comes to his next book. Deciding to go back to his roots he returns to where he grew up and got an idea for his first book. He decides to attend a retreat for writers, which is basically a B&B that hosts for writers since much of the place isn't fully finished. In a town where superstition and secrets run deep, Lucas stumbles on some missing children coincidences. The farther he goes into the mystery the more the plot thickens. Once you start this book it almost compels you to continue. Loved it, I couldn't put it down. You ever read a book that chills you and then you have to take a step back to absorb it. This was that book for me. After I finished I had to go to bed, I just couldn't think about this book. What makes this book so creepy? That everything in this book could be a shadow of truth. Superstition is a very huge thing for some people and communities in the world. People will stop at nothing, even murder to prevent bad juju. I gave this book five stars for entertainment! I would definitely read from this author again.
I am a massive fan of Mark Edwards and for me this has to be his best book to date. Set in wales with an OMG prologue this book grabs you right from the start where we follow one chilling and eerie story where we meet Lucas who has gone to the Retreat to write a horror story. Who actually finds himself in the center of a real horror story after he finds out that Julie Marsh husband drowned in a search her eight year old daughter who went missing two years ago and is still missing and delves into the disappearances. The Retreat is told in three parts and alternates back to what happened before. I knew just five percent into this story that it was going to be a corker of a read. and I certainly wasn't wrong. Mark weaves a well crafted,chilling and creepy story that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I loved everything about this book from the story line to the author's writing. It is a quick and easy read with a story that flows and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Julie and Lucas are very intriguing characters and I loved learning about his writing journey with references to being a self published author. The more Lucas wanted to know about what happened with Julie's daughter the more I wanted to know. This is an excellant who done it story. Which is full of mystery and suspense and keep you guessing until the every end. Did I mention that horror is favourite genre?! so here we have a crime story with a twist of horror! This book is simply perfect with references to urban legends and witches...I freaking loved it. And highly recommend it giving it 5 massive stars.
Mixed feelings on this one... a good story,some creepy goings on,nice bits of tension and times where you weren't really sure what was going on. But the whole plot centres around a witch taking a child every 35 years,and I struggled at how easily a whole village accepted this with so very little to back it up. A lot of slightly nuts people,and a twisting path to the villains kept me entertained enough.
I read one other book by Mark Edwards, Follow You Home, and I knew I was going to love this one. I was really eager to pick this one up and couldn’t put it down. You have a missing child and someone willing to investigate it for the sake of the child’s mom. This is a well written book with a great plot as well as some great plot twists that will have you turning the page wanting more. Mark Edwards does a fantastic job of describing things that make places and situations eerie but definitely fits into the story line.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review. I have read everything Mark Edwards has released to date so was excited to find a new book on the horizon. Unfortunately this book didn't quite hit he mark for me. It took me a lot longer to read than it would have normally and I can only think this is because I wasn't engaged enough in the story. I could easily have put it down unfinished. The characters were uninspired and the hints at witchcraft and sinister folk stories, while tried to add to the spooky and suspenseful aspect of the story, just dragged it out unnecessarily. I'm sorry, but I was bored within the first few chapters and this never improved for me. I have higher expectations from Mark Edwards and he just didn't deliver this time.
I had a really hard time with this novel. I kept reading because I wanted to know what was happening but at the same time it was just trudging on and on with no real significant direction. Lots of characters being thrown into the mix, which I'm okay with. It worked in this story but I felt more and more people were just there to distract you from nothing happening. I would have DNF but I ended up pushing through and the only reason I'm going with three stars instead of one is because of the epilogue. I did like the eerie aspect.. the old spooky retreat where writers go to work on their novels. Creepy things DID happen, I just wanted more. I expected to be scared and that's not what this is. So if you like a good slow burn of surprise, then this one is probably a go for you.
When I think of a retreat it conjures up images of somewhere quiet , an oasis where you can rest and reflect or write, somewhere you feel safe, well that was until I picked up The Retreat by Mark Edwards, who turns an idyllic setting into something far more sinister. Steeped in atmosphere and disturbingly creepy The Retreat is a reminder of why I’m such a fan of Mark Edwards writing. Lucas, a horror novelist, arrives at the retreat hoping to write his next book, but within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of strange events, are the events linked to Lily a missing child? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat? It’s great that the author doesn’t conform to a specific genre, with elements of the supernatural, horror and psychological running through its veins you are never quite sure where the author is heading with an unpredictable plot. Mark Edwards maintain the overwhelming sense of suspense and unease throughout. The tale is shrouded in local folklore, and spooky ghost stories, the author does a fabulous job in evoking the horror, the fear and trepidation around such tales. Told in the present peppered with chapters told from the missing child Lily’s POV you get a feel for Lily, her fears that are grounded in the folklore tales, her worries about her family, it was these chapters that I found the most intriguing and also the most creepy. These chapters were the ones that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, made me jump at every noise, and kept me reading long into the night (with the lights on of course!) Steeped in atmosphere with a backdrop of creepy settings, and an array of characters who as the reader you can’t help but mistrust, Mark Edwards has written another outstanding book. I never thought the author could top The Magpies one of my favourite books ever, well until now but The Retreat is definitely his best book yet, it’s unpredictable, engaging with one of the most deliciously satisfying endings I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommend.
I love Mark Edwards novels so I knew I had to request this. Those who haven't read The Magpies really should. This is in the same vein as the magpies. Atmospheric, totally believable and full of brilliant twists. I think Mark Edwards works so well as he plays on the humanised and normalised aspect of fear with a slow burn effect until a huge conclusion
I’ve read all of Mark’s books to date. Some of them I've loved and a couple I’ve felt lukewarm about. Sadly, for me, The Retreat was more the latter than the former. That said, I’m sure I will be in the minority and many people will enjoy it. There has been a glut of missing children thrillers lately and I was hoping that this one would be more original, but unfortunately I found the plot lacking in credibility at times. The writing was still good and at times the story was creepy, but the characters seemed one-dimensional and forgettable. I will continue to read Mark’s books when they come out because I think he’s a good writer and I’ve loved some of his books (especially The Magpies), but, for me, this one was just mediocre.
The Bottom Line: The Retreat has an intriguing storyline and hits all the right notes on suspense, thrill, eerieness, setting, and pace, making for a fast, engaging read. My take: What I liked the least about The Retreat was Julia. Although you do feel for her after everything she’s been through, she comes across as a little too annoying, too often. Of course, the woman lost her husband and her daughter and is living in a state of limbo. So you can understand the irritating attitude. But what I couldn’t understand about it was how Lucas seems to be oblivious to her flaws. The dynamic between them, for that reason, didn’t make all that much sense to me. Still, it wasn’t the worst, could be written off as the result of the experiences they’d had in life, and was the only slightly irritating part about the book. And the rest of it more than makes up for this. The story is quite intricate, with a lot of things happening across decades, leading up to the events of the present. The characters are all well defined and have a good real-ness to them. They are all incredibly human in their arrogance, humility, successes, and failures, and in their good and bad. That is what makes the story so relatable – you can actually imagine everything that happens really taking place in a similar setting. It’s also got great suspense and a great setting. It pulls you in right from Page 1 and keeps you hooked throughout. The best part about the book, though, was its thrill. The Retreat isn’t one of those books where scary faces look out at you from the dark. The thrill it evokes is more subtle and, consequently, incredibly effective. It’s one of those books where the creepiness is brought on by that feeling that you’re being watched, when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but when you turn around there’s no one there. Yet, you know that someone, or something, was there. It’s the kind of thrill that gets under your skin and stays there, making you a little jumpy at sudden sounds and dark areas. That’s why it stays with you longer and really makes you experience everything that’s happening in the book. I received The Retreat from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s the second Mark Edwards book I’ve gotten from them and although the first one I’d read – The Lucky Ones – was quite good (you can read the review for that here), this one was definitely better. Edwards, who I’d started following after The Lucky Ones, is definitely one of the better (newer) thriller writers and I would love to read more from him. What really makes his work interesting is the variety he brings. It’s not just serial killer thrillers. Edwards writes different stories that just come to him, and while all are of the thriller genre, each of them has a different take on the category. The Retreat, especially, does more than enough justice to the psychological thriller genre under which it’s pitched, which is quite refreshing because (lately) too many books are sold as psychological thrillers when just ‘thriller’ would be more suitable a tag. I’d strongly recommend The Retreat to: fans of thrillers and crime fiction novels anyone who wants to try out a new thriller author (I’m sure you’ll enjoy Edwards’ style) those who want a thriller with a twist
Mark Edwards is a great story teller and he has done it again with The Retreat. A retreat for writers to come to to relax and write.. although there is no relaxing at this retreat! A spooky and suspenseful tale that will keep you on your toes and guessing until the end!
This is not my first book by Mark Edwards and so I was looking forward to reading it. The book starts with the disappearance of Lily who is abducted by an unknown person while her parents are busy having an argument. Moving forward two years Lucas returns to the area of his birth to a retreat for writers and from there the plot takes off at a great pace. Whether Lily's disappearance is straightforward or whether she was taken by a many hundred year old Red Widow to appease her is the question!! Well plotted with a twist or two in the tale. Definitely worth reading. Many thanks to Mark Edwards/Netgalley/Amazon Publishing UK for a digital version of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.
As always Mark Edwards entertains and leaves the reader wanting more. This book contains everything you can want in a scary novel. However I did find the ending a bit contrived.l. Still a good read for those fans of a Magic Cottage by James Herbert.
My first Mark Edwards book! I've heard so many wonderful things about his books, that I could'nt contain myself when I recieved this title. It did not dissapoint! In The Retreat we follow author Lucas, who desperately needs to write a new book. To get that done, he goes back to the town where the inspiration for his first book came from. He stays at a writers retreat run by Julia. A widow who, after a while, opens up to Lucas and trusts him with what bothers her the most; her missing daughter and dead husband. Shit hits the fan pretty quickly when Lucas feels the need to help Julia get some closure; they must find Lily's body. While he hires a private detective to figure stuff out and he gets to writing his book some strange stuff happends in and around the house.. I loved the way the storyline evolved.. I never saw it coming, and I definitely love it when a story does that! The characters were great, there were some great plottwists and overall,.. the whole book was set up pretty neatly. No complaints whatsoever, I really hope to read more of Mark Edwards in the future!
I have read several of Mark Edwards books including the well known Magpies & Follow You Home. I found his previous work to be well constructed & complex thrillers full of suspense. This book is no exception. Set in rural Wales, Lucas comes to stay at Julia's home which is a writer's retreat. Lucas has one bestseller under his belt and is desperate not to be a one hit wonder. Julia is attempting to recover from the terrible loss of her husband and daughter (Lily) whilst Lucas has his own personal loss to deal with. All is not totally quiet in the farmhouse - who sings during the night & is author Ursula as psychic as she would lead you to believe? Did Julia's daughter die as is generally believed or was something more mysterious at work? This is quite a complex book which is well constructed. It doesn't pay to take your eye off the ball as a throwaway comment may just be the clue you need to solve the mystery. The setting is a quiet village full of secrets and steeped in folklore. Not everyone is proud of their past & not everyone is keen to answer questions about Lily's disappearance. The characters in this book have interesting personalities & the author takes great care to make them three dimensional. The supporting cast - villagers and other writers at the retreat - are also well written leaving no clues as to who is important & who isn't. The ending of this book is excellent. All of the threads come together and everything makes sense. Then there is a little added twist which was the icing on the cake. An excellent all round read that I struggled to put down. I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley
I’ve read a few of Mark Edwards backlog books. The Retreat is quite a bit different in some ways but super similar as well. I really enjoy his slow build ups. Now I’ll be honest, I struggled with that first 20% of the book. It was a bit slower than I like suspense book to be. But, I get it. Mr. Edwards needed to set the stage, build the characters, and get us right where he wanted us. Once that was set, I felt the build up steadily increasing. My favorite thing about The Retreat is I had no idea what the story was giving me... what it was hinting at. While Mr. Edwards gave me all the puzzle pieces he did not show me a picture to follow. So it took me a while to put everything together. That impressed me. A story that can keep me in the dark nearly the entire time is a talent! I can usually rattle off the ending based on what I would do in the authors place and generally, I’m correct. Now, I’ve included the synopsis above my review so I’m not going to rewrite it in my own words. However, what I will tell you is that Mr. Edwards sticks to what he’s used to writing but strays a little bit with The Retreat. This book, while he wrote in a similar way, he was still able to give his readers something unique, something original. There was a large cast of characters but they all held their own and made an interesting addition to the story. I found that the closer I got to the ending the quicker my heart was pounding, the quicker I was flying through the pages. Adding in folklore and local myths from the town made the story super creepy and you wondered if there was a paranormal or ghost aspect to this story. I didn’t realize how invested I was until I had 10% left and I was devouring the last of it. I received an ARC of this book with the hope that I would leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that along with the late James Herbert, Mark Edwards is one of my favourite writers. He has the knack of taking an ordinary situation with ordinary people and creating a sinister undertone without resorting to unrealistic scares. The perfect example of psychological suspense/thrillers. This book stays true to formula (and if it aint broke, dont fix it) being set in a writers retreat in Wales. The owner's child died in an accident by a river but the mother won't accept it. As the novel goes on, you genuinely start to question what happened and if in fact it did happen. Singing is heard seemingly coming from the child's room which has been left completely untouched since the accident. Is the house haunted? A local urban legend dictates that every 35 years a child is either sacrificed to "The Red Widow" in the woods, or she will take one. Is this what happened? The story is not rushed, but on the other hand, neither does it drag. All the way through the book you are wondering are the happenings supernatural or is there a logical reason for them. This leads up to the ending which is where Mark Edwards also always succeeds. The ending in this case, as with all his books, is believable but not obvious. Another excellent book which I would recommend to anyone. Just buy it now!
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. My very first book by this author and I have no words to describe how much I loved it. It was creepy, chilling, thrilling and very suspenseful. I enjoyed it so much. Well written, with likable characters. I highly recommend it.
Mark Edwards had had an amazing amount of success with his spectacular, scare your pants off psychological thrillers and The Retreat is another brilliant novel! The story of a women who after her life falls apart opens up an inn for authors to come and work on their novels, a retreat of sorts, a place to get away so they can work in a peaceful environment. But is it peaceful, or is it haunted, a missing child, mysterious deaths, and thing that go bump in the night... are they dreaming or is it real. The Retreat is a must read Mark Edwards novel that does not disappoint!
This is my first time reading this author but I think I've found a new favorite! The storytelling was tremendously creepy. I was captivated from page one and couldn't put it down. I had to bargain with my family this weekend to get more time to finish the book as I had to know how it ended! They got more screen time and I was able to get all of the answers. The story was so well written with lots of twists and turns and a few spots where I think I was holding my breathe. I'll be picking up more of his books and letting my reader friends know about this one!
Atmospheric from the first page, Mr Edwards has created a dark and occasionally deeply disturbing book. The characterisation was excellent, thoroughly believable, well drawn people who I felt connected to straight away. A very clever, very intricately woven tale of intrigue, folklore and the issues involved when you live in a small, close knit community. A real page turner. Kudos Mr Edwards.
Julia opens a writing retreat two years after the disappearance of her daughter and the loss of her husband who died diving into the river to try and save Lily who they believed had fallen in after running ahead. Julia is convinced that Lily is still alive somewhere and disagrees with the police who were convinced that she drowned. Lucas one of the guest writers at the retreat decides to try and help Julia find out what happened to her daughter, that is when he hears the legend about the Red Widow... Mark Edwards is one of my go to authors and I have read every book that he has brought out so far. This book didn’t disappoint. It kept me interested and wanting to read just one more chapter. The story didn’t go in the direction that I thought it would go in. I love that I can still be surprised and not work it out.
Typical story by Mark Edwards although not as creepy as some of his work it is still a fantastic story. I could not put it down as I was enthralled from the beginning. The writers at the retreat were so diverse in character and so some friction was caused. The story unwinds in perfect timing to give the reader just a little bit more information every so often. The idea of the Red Widow that runs throughout seems so real yet bound in urban myth. What is the truth about her! Does she eat children every 35yrs or not? Loved the ending great job Mark and I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes this genre.
What a great read. Creepy, dark and thrilling, I could not put it down until I knew the truth about the Red Widow. I am a sucker for books about small town communities full of secrets and lies and this fits the bill nicely.
I love a story involving old folk lore and this didn’t disappoint. It’s chilling, creepy and if read late at night and alone may even give you the willies. Highly atmospheric with an old retreat and eerie woodland setting this hooks you in from the first page and like “the widow” doesn’t let you go.
I have just finished reading The Retreat. I need a retreat after reading this scary ghost story. The story is about a writer who goes to a writer's retreat to write his next book. There he meets Julie, who husband has died and her daughter has disappeared. 2 years have passed since this happened but Julie refused to believe her daughter is dead. The story takes place in a small town full of myths. The biggest one being the widow, who every 35 years steals and eats a child. Lucas refuses to believe that the widow has taken Lily. He set out to find the truth. I read this book in 2 days, unknown for me. It has a bit of everything, including love. A real 5 star read. I loved It and hope to read more by this writer.
The story is a very cleverly written thriller based around a remote Welsh village. Lucas is an author struggling to write his next book, so heads to ‘The Retreat’ to focus on his writing. He quickly gets involved with the other residents as well as the B and B’s owner. You soon learn the background of the B and B and village in which it’s based, with local folklore and witch’s thrown in for good measure. As the story unfolds you learn more about children who have gone missing and it becomes a bit of a ‘who done it’. The main characters are very likeable and the story is definitely a little creepy. This is the first Mark Edwards book that I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last. This book has all of the ingredients of a fabulous thriller - It’s fast paced, gripping and totally believable. I enjoyed this book from the first page and found it hard to put down.
This is the first book I've read by Mark Edwards, but I will now definitely be looking at his other works! This was a very enjoyable dark, creepy mystery that had me questioning the motives of all the characters involved and an ending I didn't see coming!
I received an ARC from Net Galley and publisher Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. I LOVE Mark Edwards. I don't think I've actually reviewed any of his books properly before but I read through all of them about two summers ago. He is one of the few authors where I have consistently loved everything he's done and The Retreat is no different. For starters, the setting of this book is amazing. I have actually been on a writer's retreat to Wales before and this book captured the creepy atmosphere brilliantly. I also love the basic idea. The main character is a horror writer (whose biggest book is clearly a homage to It) famous for writing about missing children. He accidentally chooses to stay at a place where the woman who runs the retreat had her child go missing. It provides the opportunity for a lot of great character interaction, as well as a solid reason for him to get invested in the mystery. Before I get too gushy, this book isn't perfect. The story gets a little convoluted near the end, although I still found the ending satisfying. There's also a recurring thing that Mark Edwards does which is he describes female characters somewhat sexually, even when they're not meant to be love interests. It's very minor in this book but I still noticed it to a degree. On the whole though, I would still very much recommend this book. It has an exciting story and I could not predict where it was going, which was so refreshing. Even if it got a little convoluted, each new hint to the solution was surprising to me and I could not put it down whilst reading it. There are a lot of genuinely creepy moments in here as well, or little atmospheric things which really strengthen the story. Ultimately this is another great book from Edwards and I highly suggest you pick it up. Overall Rating: 4/5
One of the first psychological thrillers I read was by Mark Edwards. I thought it was fantastic and I have since eagerly looked forward to his new releases. This was no exception. I was drawn in immediately and didn’t stop until the end. Folklore, shifty suspects, it has it all
Lucas stays at a cottage in Wales where he joins fellow writers for a writing retreat. Lucas is a horror writer and he’s searching for inspiration for this next best seller. The other guests at the house are a mixed bag with their own worries and emotional baggage. The host of the retreat centre is Julia. Julia lost her eight year old daughter, two years ago. The girl was presumed to have drowned in the local river, along with her father who dived in trying to save her. The body of the father was found but not that of the daughter, and, against all the evidence, Julia has clung to the belief that her daughter, Lily, is still alive. Lucas is attracted to Julia and a romance blossoms. He also becomes obsessed with Lily and he hires a private detective to dig around and find out more. He himself begins to question the police findings. He becomes suspicious of several members of the close-knit, local community, of which his own mother and father were a part. Lucas has suffered a loss himself, and this gets thrown into the mix. Strange things start to happen at the house – noises in the night, sounds of someone coming and going, ghostly singing. A couple of the other guests start cracking up. Lucas doesn’t believe in ghosts but the horror writer in him is hooked on the incidents and he begins to wonder what is real and what is imaginary. It’s all pretty spooking stuff. I thought the author did the supernatural element extremely well and we see how each guest is weakened by the weird events. (I think that’s all I can say about the story – if you want to find out more you’ll have to read it.) My favourite parts of the book were the first third, when we are getting to know the group and the villagers, and the middle part where the spooky events really ratchet up. In summary – this book is a great mystery, supernatural suspense and the author has a lovely, fluid writing style. A highly enjoyable read. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
Y’all should just read this book! Yeah, that’s my review! I should just leave it at that, right? Seriously though, this book is awesome and I hope that all fans of thrillers will get a chance to read it. The story begins with Lucas’ arrival at a writer’s retreat. Lucas has one successful book to his name but is currently struggling to find inspiration for a second book. He hopes that a retreat at a secluded location will help inspire him. Julia is the host of the retreat which is also being attended by three other writers, Karen, Max and Suzi. The vibe of that place is super spooky. The house is huge, old and has some unusual noises that have everyone on edge. In addition, Julia’s daughter, Lily, has been missing for over two years. All these contribute to a very, creepy, atmospheric read. I couldn’t stop turning pages once I started reading this book. The plot was interesting and it moved at a fast pace. I was curious about Lily’s disappearance. The police believe that she drowned and her mother was certain that she was alive somewhere. I couldn’t decide which version to believe and so I eagerly followed the narrative waiting for the reveal. The story had quite a number of twists. None of which I could have predicted. I can’t even begin to explain the number of times my jaw dropped. I loved everything about this story. I enjoyed the narrative style where urban legends were integrated into the story hence contributing to the suspense and creepy atmosphere. The Retreat by Mark Edwards is an amazing, descriptive,captivating read. The surprises just kept coming until the end. I can’t wait to read more books by this author.
I never fail to be impressed by this author. I thought I had it figured out SO many times but I was completely wrong. The story is completely addictive and new! I’ve never read anything like this one. Clever with an amazing twist! So many lies and secrets. You can’t go wrong with this one!
LOVED THIS - Well done Mark.Such a good read, creepy, strong, atmospheric and dark. Really spooky and left me wanting more
I could not put this book down. This is my first read by this author and I was blown away. From beginning to end it kept me in suspense and wondering who did it. Kudos to Mark Edwards for a great job. This ending had more twists an turns than a maze I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller.
I loved this book!! Once I started it was hard to put down. This is my first book by this author and I will certainly be looking for more!! I was left breathless!! This is a must read! Simply brilliant!! I highly recommend!
The Retreat by Mark Edwards is a thriller with mild horror elements in which a young girl, Lily goes missing and little evidence is left to find her. The story is a little clumpy to start off with, the writing seems to be a little laboured but once we get to the action about a third of the way in, it starts to loosen up and a suspenseful atmosphere is created. Julia the mother of the missing child who has lost her husband in the search for Lily, opens her house as a writers retreat where she has four guests stay. Lucas one of the guests, who has also lost a partner, signs up to complete his novel but has difficulty focusing and insists on trying to help Julia, by finding out what happened to Lily. The plot thickens with historic disappearances and the horror story of the red widow spread by children and parents alike, leading to a lengthy, twisty and yet quite satisfying conclusion. Would recommend.
A slow burn that was absolutely brilliant. I loved everything about it. As a writer myself there was so much I could appreciate here - the differing author personalities, the need to "know" answers, the mystery while still having an entirely plausible (rational) explanation. I did not see the end coming, I'll admit that. Usually I find this type of book very predictable and while I did have part of the answer it was a small part so well done for that ending! I would definitely read more by this author. It made me feel very much at home since I'm from there and could really picture everything. Well described, the theme of the river continuing the whole way through helped bring the book together well.
Thoroughly enjoyed the previous books by this author & this latest one was excellent too. The setting, characters & storyline were very atmospheric giving goosebumps at certain passages. 4.5 stars
Wow, another excellent psychological thriller from Mark Edwards. The Retreat is about a writer who goes to a retreat to finish his novel. What he finds is a grieving mother, a mystery surrounding a missing child and an urban legend. I loved the supernatural undertones in the book and the twists and turns of the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I would highly recommend
It is my first Mark Edwards book and I loved it as sometimes when I read books in this genre, about halfway through it's clear that you guess who is guilty but not with this book and I highly recommend reading it. I will be reading the rest of his books.
He's done it again!! Well done Mark Edwards. Absolutely compelling, read it in 2 sittings! I was eagerly anticipating this latest release The Retreat and once again it was another superb read. This is an intense intruiging thriller with a high creep factor. I love a book that keeps me guessing and this definitely delivered as it kept me guessing to the very end. Brilliantly enjoyable read - highly recommend it. Thank you!
Amazing book!!!! Thanks netgalley for the advanced copy :-) I could not put this book down from the first page to the last.
Loved the story it did take me a while to get into the book had to start the book again as I was half way through and I was a bit lost with all the characters but on the second read i loved it the the last chapters i could not put down the best mark Edwards book i have read
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview The Retreat by Mark Edwards. A woman, Julia, loses her family tragically. She struggles to pick up the pieces of her life and finally opens her home as a retreat of sorts. Julia's daughter's death was always a puzzle as the body was never found. Julia connects with a man who becomes obsessed to find out what happened to her daughter and they find that things are not what they appear to be. More of a supernatural novel vs. thriller - Never read Edwards before - enjoyed the book - will look at this author again in the future.
Thank You to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Mark Edwards for providing me with a copy of this book. 5 Stars I am a huge fan of Mark's ever since I read "The Magpies" So when I realised that he had a new book coming out I just had to get my hands on a copy somehow and I am so glad that I did. I couldn't wait to read this book so I bumped it up to the top of my very long list. "WOW" This book is very dark, twisty and slightly emotional, just what a Psychological Thriller should be in my opinion. What starts off as a story about a missing girl quickly takes you on numerous twists and turns just when you think you have worked out what is gong to happen. This is thoroughly enjoyable and creepy but a really good read. Mark, I can not wait to read your other books that I have waiting on my long list. Well Done Sir for providing us readers with another gripping read. I do however have one question. "How on earth do you manage to write such gripping and entertaining books?" I would definitely recommend reading this book.
Mark Edwards always managed to scare the life out of me with his books and The Retreat is no different! I made the mistake of reading it in bed one night beside the snoring Grumpy Scotsman and ended up kicking him really hard, supposedly to stop his snoring but really because I was scared witless and wanted someone else awake!!! This book will really play on your own fears of losing someone close to you but not having that closure of knowing exactly what happened to your loved ones. Julia is trying to rebuild her life 2 years after she has lost her husband and daughter. By opening up a writers retreat she hopes to join the land of the living again. One of her first guests is horror writer Lucus, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her daughter Lily, who’s body has never been found. Honestly, I know I’m a TOTAL wimp but this is one of the creepiest books I’ve read recently!! And I think that’s because I was never really sure where the narrative was heading and that made me very nervous! I’m not a big lover of supernatural stories as they freak me out a little (well ok, they freak me out A LOT!!!) and the unusual occurrences in and around the writers retreat were ones that I found very difficult to explain! The use of a local “urban legend” was central to the plot here and used to great effect by Mark Edwards, with a gradual build up of tension along the way as we find out more about The Red Widow!!! What I enjoyed most about this book was that it wasn’t predictable! The supernatural element was present but it was up to the reader to decide what was real or imagined. The menacing atmosphere was at its most intense during the first part of the book as Lucas becomes aware of the eerie “goings on” that started to increase once he began looking into the circumstances surrounding the events that lead to Julia losing her family. As things started to come together, there were plenty of shocks in store including a rather unexpected ending! Gripping, nightmarish and totally addictive – just make sure you read it with the lights on!
In my opinion, this book is different to Edwards' usual way of writing. Personally, I loved it! I found it so compelling that I finished it during the middle of the night. So many twists & turns and red herrings, that I couldn't predict the original and satisfying ending, though several times I thought I had. I'll be recommending this one. Many thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC for which I have given my voluntary and unbiased review.
Really good book about an author that goes to stay at a writer's retreat to stay with a woman who's daughter and husband had drowned. Full of twists and turns and feared that the book would not have a good ending but it did! The language used was just right, not too flowery but descriptive enough and great characters too. Really enjoyed it and I thoroughly recommend to others :-)
When this book came across my choices, I wasn’t completely sure That this would fall into the type of books that I usually read. I was pleasantly surprised by how readable this book was. This story does have some length but the writing makes it so fast paced. The story is about this writer who decides to head back to his country hometown and stays at this estate created as a retreat for writers to come to and use the escape to write and create in a distant place. Strange things start happening around this retreat space which makes the main character looking into the owners’ past and the towns’ past and more and more things happen and people start to mysteriously disappear and suddenly die tragic deaths. As the story unfolds, the pace increases and the pages turn themselves so fast and you desperately want to solve the mystery with the main character.
This book was absolutely riveting! 2 kids missing 30 years apart. A writers Retreat with secrets. A men's group with a lot to hide. I could hardly put it down. I will be reading more by this author.
I loved this book. It almost had a horror vibe to it which I haven’t found in a book for a long while. The story was well-written and kept me wanting to read ‘just one more page’ before putting it down. Highly recommend this book and author in general!
I have finally discovered Mark Edwards and all I can say is WOW! The Retreat had me utterly in its clutches from the very first page. It’s almost like the opening scene of a scary movie somehow. A seemingly innocent drive through the glorious Welsh countryside and yet straight away, I couldn’t shake the feeling something utterly creepy was just around the corner. The setting oozes atmosphere in a haunting sort of way. Lucas is an author who heads to a writer’s retreat in Wales, hoping to finally find the inspiration to finish his second novel. The owner of the retreat, Julia, lost her family. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter. But the little girl’s body was never found and Julia is convinced her daughter is still alive. And then strange things start to happen. Mark Edwards is a new to me author. I know, shame on me. I picked up The Retreat after seeing a lot of buzz around from my fellow bloggers and the fear of missing out was becoming increasingly tough to beat. Now I’m left to wonder why I’ve not read any of this author’s books before because if this is anything to go buy then, yes, I have most definitely been missing out! The Retreat had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. This is a brilliantly absorbing and compelling story. Yes, it’s slightly creepy but it’s also a bit sad at times when it plays into the topic of local superstition and the stuff of myths and scary stories. I had no idea whatsoever where things were heading. It’s a quite unpredictable journey but I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of it. I’m purposefully leaving my review on the vague side because I don’t want to ruin the sheer fun of it for everyone. This is going straight onto my list of books of the year and I quite happily recommend it as a total must-read! A delicious psychological thriller with a difference and I will undoubtedly make the time to read more books by Mark Edwards in future.
A slow burner for me. Very well written, the story flowed well but it didn’t grip me the way some books do. For fans of supernatural storylines, this book is for you.
A very unusual storyline. Lucas Radcliffe is finding it difficult to start his new novel and decides that the only way he may rediscover his talent is to leave London and move to a writers’ retreat in Wales. The owner of the cottage, he and his fellow writers find themselves living in, is Juliet. She and her husband and young daughter, Lily, had moved to Nyth Bran near Beddmawr, Wales some years earlier. Unfortunately, Juliet had lost both her husband and daughter in a terrible tragedy. She decided to stay on in the area hoping that at least some of the questions about the cause of her husband’s death and daughter’s disappearance will still get answered. Opening her house as a writers’ retreat at least helps her keep financially sound. The peace and quiet that Lucas craves to write are somewhat disturbed when things start vanishing from his and the other writers’ rooms. Strange noises wake them and they all feel that at times they are being watched while in their bedrooms. Lucas wants to find out what is really causing all these strange goings on and knows that he will not be able to write his next novel until he discovers the causes. Mark Edwards has given his readers lots to think of in this novel. Lucas Radcliffe, the main protagonist, is very believable as are the other characters who we meet in this very strange (in the best possible way) storyline. He’s also created an ending with one of the cleverest cliff-hangers I’ve ever read. A book full of surprises! Treebeard Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
I am a huge Mark Edwards fan and have loved everyone of his novels to date and this one didn’t disappoint. Creepy and thrilling in equal measure this book kept me guessing right up until the last page where a brilliant twist awaits......
This book came with some fantastic reviews. It didn't disappoint. It keeps you constantly guessing how its going to end up. I love the way it had me thinking about it even after I had finished it. I will definitely be looking at purchasing some more of his books. The cover drew me in a good cover gets me every time.
I have enjoyed previous books by Mark Edwards so I was delighted to get my hands on The Retreat. Two years ago Julia lost her family when her husband drowned. He had jumped in a swollen river after seeing their daughter Lily's favourite toy floating there. It was presumed that Lily had drowned although her body was never found. Julia has never accepted this. In an effort to keep going she opens her house as a reader's retreat where authors can have the peace & quiet to write in the beauty of rural Wales. Lucas has written on one best selling horror novel. He is struggling to catch lightning in a bottle a second time. As his deadline approaches he decides to go to the writer's retreat - to get away from memories of his dead partner and to visit the place he spent his early years. Strange things happen in the house. Lucas is drawn to Julia and as he hears old tales & superstitions about the area he starts to wonder if Julia might be right. Maybe Lily didn't drown- but if she didn't, what happened to her? This was a fast paced read with interesting characters and created a creepy atmosphere that had you looking over your shoulder. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
Missing children,a house surrounded by dense,spooky woods,hidden tunnels,secret passageways,urban myths and legends,sinister locals,action and danger,murder,twists and turns.This can only be a book that was written by the master of thrills and suspense Mark Edwards. When horror writer Lucas Radcliffe decided to return to his home town Beddhaur in Wales,he didn't for one minute that during his stay at The Retreat,he would find himself getting caught up in a real life mystery.Two years previously the owner of The Retreat Julia Marsh`s husband Michael drowned in the River Dee near their home and their eight year old daughter Lily vanished without a trace.The authorities insist that Lily drowned at the same time as her dad but Julia is convinced that her daughter is still alive.When strange things start happening at The Retreat,Lucas and Julia`s investigation leads them to a secret in the woods - a secret that someone will do anything to protect.... There is no better place for a writer to use as a setting for a dark,chilling mystery than a wood.Even when you walk amongst the trees in broad daylight it's still sinister and creepy and you always get that chill down the back of your neck and get the feeling that you are being watched.I loved the atmospheric scenes set in the woods,I loved the sound of the cosy but seemingly haunted Retreat and I loved the mystery elements of this story.What had happened to Lily? Why where people being murdered and by whom? Who was behind the mysterious occurrences at The Retreat? Out of the cast of vivid,realistic characters my favourite was Lucas,he was just so sweet and likeable,couldn't understand why he liked Julia so much,I though she was rather irritating at times.Interspersed throughout the book where chapters voiced by Lily chronicling her thoughts before and after she disappeared.There was a mixed bag of diverse secondary characters,some likeable and trustworthy,some not so likeable and a sinister a sinister atmosphere that prevailed throughout the whole book.It's hard to believe that in these modern times the things that people are prepared to do just because of superstitions that are passed down from generation to generation. This is a fast paced,twist packed thriller that certainly keeps the reading guessing from the first page right through to the jaw dropping epilogue.The only thing that spoilt this book a bit for me anyway was the supernatural elements to the story but that just my personal opinion.
I have never read this author before but I surely will in the future! I quickly became engrossed with the story and had trouble putting the book down! It has all the elements of a good story and this author understands how to structure the story he's telling very well. You get to know each character and feel about them as you would if you met them in real life. You will immediately feel empathy for Julia and all she has been through and you'll be rooting for her to make a new start with Lucas, a guest at her writer's retreat, who's intrigued by her story and decides to investigate. You'll be rapidly turning pages to follow along anxiously hoping for a resolution! I highly recommend this book and this author. Thanks to #netgalley for the ARC!
This is an exciting read, it kept me in suspense all the way through ,I love the way the author writes and keeps your attention.
A story about two missing girls, what happened to them and are they still alive, a retreat where writers go to write there books, one of them writes ghost stories. This could have been a ghost story but it was a very good thriller which I really enjoyed.
The Retreat by Mark Edwards What with this being the first book by Mark Edwards that I have read I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I love psychological thrillers and don’t mind the odd supernatural twist once in a while. This book is both. It’s also set in Wales, I’m Welsh, so it was like reading a little bit of home for me. The idea behind the story, focusing on a missing child and steeped in urban legend was interesting and had me gripped from the beginning. There were a few moments, especially the scenes in the woods, where I was almost shouting at the characters to get out of there (I mean, who goes deep into the woods alone - at night). I’m usually good at figuring out the outcome of stories like this; however I didn’t see this one coming. I was guessing right up until the end. That in itself tell me that the author has done a good job telling the story. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author and will recommend his books to friends.
Ghostly goings on, unexplained events and dark secrets at a writers’ retreat full of over-inflated but fragile egos. There’s enough mystery and suspense to keep the reader guessing and I enjoyed some of the more flawed characters, although the residents at the writers' retreat were a little too stereotypical. Overall, I enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading the author’s next book.
Doesn't a nice writing retreat sound like the perfect get away? Quiet, peaceful days with nothing to do but write. Well, the Retreat is not the place I'd want to go visit. I'm glad I read and not write since I wouldn't have lasted long at this place! The author was new to me so I didn't know what to expect. What I got was scared and I read mostly late at night! This novel was a psychological thriller, mystery, suspense, and paranormal elements. All with a touch of horror thrown in. I absolutely loved it!!! An excellent written book that I highly recommend. * I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to read and review this book.
This book was fantastic! It was definitely a grab you by the seat of your pants, sit on the edge of your seat thriller. I could not put this book down. It definitely had the WOW factor. I don't think you will want to read this one with the lights off. I totally did not expect this book to take the turn it did but it totally had me hooked from the beginning. Mark Edwards is a new author for me. I can say he will definitely be an author I will read more of. I could not believe the ending! This is a definite must read for any thriller fans. Definitely recommend!
A horror writer comes to Beddmawr, his childhood hometown, to stay and work in a writer’s retreat. The retreat is owned by a woman who lost her child and husband two years ago, the husband drowning trying to find and save his daughter, the daughter’s body never found, and thus not permitting the grieving mother to bury her hopes of finding her child again. The whole mystery involves a local folk myth of the Red Widow, a woman who lost her husband in the mines and comes every 35 years to take a child from the community. The narrative flows nicely, the story is interesting and gripping, and what I really liked was that everything supernatural is explained in the end by normal and real facts. Overall, quite a good story.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way! I'm one of those people who figures out books or movies before the end. I was pleasantly surprised I had no clue! I would definitely dig up other books by this author! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher and was under no obligation to post a favorable review
Kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire book, what a ride! Great plot and lots of interesting characters throughout the storyline. Moved at a good pace while chapters may have focused on a specific character or relationship with the story being told by one voice. Like a good thriller? like Stephen King? then you will LOVE this one!
This was a really good book for escapism. I found myself engrossed in the retreat. Mark Edwards has written a great story here with plenty of opportunity for being completely spooked. I liked the sense of community from the local village especially the funeral scenes. If I have one criticism, it would be about the character of Lily. The descriptions of her just seemed too grown up for the age that she was supposed to be. Her fear about going off with Megan's Grandad, her feelings of anger towards her parents - I just don't believe that 8 year olds have those sort of grown up thoughts. I think they are far less subtle about not wanting to do things. Nevertheless, I still raced through this book. A desperate urge to find out what happened and such clever descriptions of the house and surrounding areas.
Mark Edwards gives us another thriller, this time with a mysterious writer's retreat and a missing child. Two years ago, Julia lost her husband and daughter tragically, and refuses to accept that her daughter is dead. One of the writers visiting the retreat, Lucas, coincidentally writes horror novels about missing children, and wants to know what happened to Lily. Not my favorite Edwards novel but should be well received by readers of this genre.
I loved this book! Mark Edwards never disappoints me and his newest is no exception. He kept me guessing from page 1 and until the end I had no idea who the bad guy or guys were. I must have changed my mind about 15 times-that's a good book! I loved the characters, especially all the authors staying at "The Retreat." It reminded me of a dark horror movie that would have me covering my eyes-spooky and fun! Check this one out, you won't be disappointed. *if you haven't read "The Magpies" or "follow you home" by the same author, do so and soon-both are excellent and two of my favorite books.
Well, what can I say? The retreat was a fantastic read! I didn’t guess “who done it”. The retreat kept me on my toes and wanting to read more, the characters were believable and I really enjoyed reading it!
Thank you #NetGalley for an advanced copy of #TheRetreat! I absolutely loved this book. This book is about Julia, a widow who’s child is also missing/possibly dead, who opens a writers retreat at her home. In comes horror writer Lucas who is determined to find out what really happened to Julia’s daughter, Lily! Disturbing things start happening at the retreat and more and more people end up dead... the ending was a total surprise for me! I’m a reader that analyzes the book from the beginning trying to figure out exactly what happened and this one caught me by surprise. I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn’t put the book down! Highly recommend!
Thank you to Netgalley, Mark Edwards & Amazon publishing for my arc of The Retreat. I really like Mark Edwards writing style it's intriguing, a little bit scary but reassuring at the same time. Like it reads like horror but if you're a scaredy cat like me, then you know it's going to have a rational explanation in the end! The Retreat is no different. Lucas is a writer with one bestseller under his belt and a deadline coming ever closer during a period of writer's block. He decides to head back home to Wales where there's peace and quiet to a writer's retreat where he can finally get his head down and write the next bestselling horror novel. Julia the owner of the Retreat is still reeling from the events of two years ago when her husband and child were lost to her in a tragic accident. Lucas soon becomes obsessed with what happened to Julia's little girl Lily whose body was never found, but as he begins to turn over rocks, things crawl out that want to stay hidden and all of their lives are now in danger. I really loved the way this novel was laid out, the characters, especially Lucas were easy to empathise and connect with and the suspense was fantastic, I stayed up until 2am to finish it because I couldn't put it down! Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, I can't wait for the next book from Mark Edwards!
Thankyou to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Mark Edwards for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of The Retreat. I was so happy to have been given the opportunity to read this book. I like Mark Edwards as an author and hoped this book would be as good as previous novels. I have to admit, it was better. The storyline gets you in and gives you a rollercoaster ride all the way to the end. This is a novel best enjoyed in one sitting because it is impossible to put down.
A heart pounding, atmospheric, rip roaring good mystery! Mark Edwards is so thorough and detailed with his plotting - his stories are intricately detailed and they are always tightly wound with no stone left unturned. Full of spooky folklore and legends and scary ghost stories, this one definitely had me jumping at the slightest sounds and turning on all the lights in the house.
Julia’s husband drowns two years previous when saving their daughter from drowning, however their daughters body is never found so Julia lives with the hope that she is still alive... two years later Julia transforms her house into a writers retreat.....
Thanks to Netgalley for the download of this book. I downloaded it in May, started it, it was a bit too slow for me and I had other "must reads" snagging my time. Determined to get to the good part, I picked it up again a couple weeks ago and I'm glad I did. The setting is described perfectly, maintaining the creepy vibes throughout. There are a lot of characters to keep straight so that proved challenging for me, but most likely because of the break I took after the first 25% or so of the book. Overall, I'd probably give it 3.5 starts if I could, but it just didn't quite grab me enough for 4 stars. I'd still recommend it for anyone who enjoys suspense and the supernatural.
A book that will leave you wondering what is real. You won’t be able to read quick enough, you will want to know what happens on the next page. Brilliant.
Lucas has found the perfect place to write his next best-seller. Well, he hopes this novel will be as successful as his first and finding the Retreat seems like the perfect plan. When he arrives however, he soon finds that Julia, the owner, is suffering from the loss of her daughter and husband, and refuses to believe that her daughter is really dead. As the ghostly tension mounts, secrets are revealed and nothing is as it appears.
3.5 stars. I’ve been reading Mark Edwards books because I love the tingle down my spine & the way my hairs sit up, this is another great read but I just didn’t get that tingle. Looking forward to reading more from Mark With thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for ARC in return for an honest review
My thanks to the Publishers via NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 5 stars or 10/10. Can I just say that Mark Edwards never fails to deliver a book that draws you in and unsettles you and they are just right up my street. He has a knack of telling a story in a way that almost makes it fit the horror genre, yet it's not aimed at that genre specifically. There is always that underlying layer that just creeps you out and keeps you guessing. You just know that something sinister is going to happen at some point and that's one of the joys of reading his books. Julia the owner of an old house with history, has had her share of bad luck in life. Following the loss of family members, she is left alone in the house. Deciding to turn the house into a writing retreat, the house is soon full of strangers and it's not long before a series of eerie things begin to happen. Lucas, is an Author with at least one reasonably successful book behind him, he chances upon the retreat and it's not long before he's aware of Julia's past. His career as a writer gives him the push to try to find out what's happening and what had happened to Julia in the past. As Lucas's investigation begins, will he ever find out the truth or will he live to regret ever making the decision to start it. Just read the book yourself to find out what I'm wittering about. Mark Edwards's books are always well written and I have to admit he's got a fan in me.
I finished this so quickly and loved every second. If you like folklore or ghost stories or just want something that’s going to make you feel a little unsettled then I highly recommend The Retreat. I always try to guess the ending when I’m reading a thriller but I couldn’t have been further from the truth with this one.
I came back to this book to see if I connected better on the second try,sadly not,,this book was not for me as I did not likethe characters writing style or the plot....... This was my first read from this author and although this book was not for me I would try another of his novels This book maybe should be classed as supernatural rather than thriller?? I did like the idea of the retreat for writers though