Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.
As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…
I love crime. I love absorbing myself in a mystery trying to work out ‘whodunnit’ before the detectives do, though as a wannabe Miss Marple, I have to say I’m pretty rubbish. I certainly didn’t work out ‘whodunnit’ in this brilliant book, that’s for sure!
I’m lucky enough to call Ann Troup a friend and she is also an amazing author. I was hooked by this book from the start and transported to eerie Hallow’s End, a village shrouded in secrets and mysteries. The setting definitely enhanced the book. You get a sense of just how creepy the place is and this is pretty integral to the story as a whole. I certainly wouldn’t like to be a Hallow’s End resident!
Elaine, the protagonist, has her own secrets that she’s carrying with her (I won’t spoil it for you) and she’s a compelling protagonist to lead us into the story at hand. I related to her and enjoyed learning more about her as the story continued. She’s come to Hallow’s End for a very sad reason and ends up pulled into the mystery of just what happened to Mandy Miller all those years ago. I also enjoyed the characters of Dan and Brodie, who bring their own unique qualities with them to add real spark and energy. With this book, you get two mysteries for the price of one and enough twists and turns to keep you up all night with this wonderful story.
Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.
Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.
She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.