Minotaur Books, 2012, 320 Pages
ISBN No. 978-0312643362
Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid
Adam, Grace and baby Millie leave the hustle and bustle of London to settle in a cottage in North Yorkshire that Adam inherited from his grandparents. The area is beautiful but isolated. The cottage seems to have its own personality and is filled with the possessions of Adam’s grandparents. Grace is confident the family can adjust and be happy there.
One day, Adam leaves a note for Grace that he has something to discuss with her when he returns from walking Millie. Grace is curious, but as the old grandfather clock ticks away the minutes she begins to get nervous. It seems that Adam has been gone a long time for a little walk. When Grace hears a noise at the door, she opens it to find her daughter, Millie, in her carriage but Adam is nowhere near. Grace calls the police and a search is immediately conducted but with no success. It appears that Adam has disappeared without a trace.
Grace’s parents take her away from the cottage because they feel that it is not a healthy environment for their daughter or their grandchild. A year goes by with no news of Adam and Grace cannot let go of her memories, or the hope that he will come in the door at any time. Grace decides to return to Yorkshire with Millie. She hopes that living in the cottage and sorting through all the many boxes stored in the attic and the basement will help her come to terms with her situation and help her decide what to do with the cottage.
Grace’s neighbor, Meredith Blakeney, invites Grace to visit her. Annabel, Grace’s sister, comes from London to visit and help Grace
sort things out. She also meets Ben, a man staying in the area to housesit, and he agrees to come to the cottage and do some renovations.
Grace spends the nights alone letting her thoughts wander to the many tales of ghosts and demons that locals tell about the area. She is also worried about the grandfather clock that seems to have a mind of its own, slowing down and starting up again without warning.
As Grace unpacks boxes she finds letters written by Adam’s deceased mother as well as other items that make Grace feel more and more that Adam did not just leave, but met with a tragic ending.
“Beneath the Shadows” is a gripping story that keeps the reader interested every step of the way. Grace has many bad moments and
times when she wanted to just run away but in spite of her fears she is able to stay in Yorkshire and eventually solve the mystery of Adam. The conclusion comes as a surprise but was a brilliant ending.