About this book…
Elizabeth Haynes’ new psychological thriller is a brilliantly suspenseful and shocking story in which nothing is at it seems, but everything is at stake.
Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.
When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant.
After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust.
But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he?
Having been a huge fan of Elizabeth Haynes since her first book Into the Darkest Corner, I was hugely excited to discover that Never Alone was going to be a new standalone novel. Although I have enjoyed her DI Louisa Smith novels, I much prefer the darker depths that she plunges whilst exploring those human desires and the deviance that cut across the normality of relationships. So even though I have a TBR list as long as the journey to the sun (and back again!!) I bought myself a copy to take on my summer holidays. Praise indeed so far as I only tend to take authors I really trust on holiday with me (please all form an orderly queue for the Canaries early next year!) So I am pleased to be able to tell you that this is pretty much one of my top 10 books for 2016! Not only that, it has overtaken Into The Darkest Corner as my newest favourite Elizabeth Haynes novel!
Told in alternate points of view by Sarah, a widow living in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and Aiden, her old university friend who is renting the adjacent cottage and who has only recently returned from working abroad. It isn’t long before their previous history spills over into their current situation and concerns Sarah’s friend, Sophie, and family friend, Will. Sarah also has adult children Louis and Kitty but there is a breakdown in communication between mother and son. The tension is built up slowly and surely and the isolation of Sarah’s home combined with the onset of wintery weather conditions really has a stomach clenching effect as it builds up to a stormy crescendo. And there are dogs!!!!! Putting them into the mix meant I was a nervous wreck from the very first page! Further more, adding an anonymous narrator at break points throughout also added a malevolent tension to the plot development so that I was pretty much on the edge of my seat (sunlounger!) for the majority of this book.
Elizabeth Haynes just has a natural knack of writing realistic characters in settings that the majority of us can relate to. I had such a clear visual image of Four Winds Farm in my head and that local village could be any that we pass through day after day. Sarah and Sophie felt as real to me as my own friends are and I lived through every emotion with them.
I feel it’s fair to warn that there are some quite erotic and sexually charged scenes here which are pretty relevant to the story and really rather intriguing as well considering the nature of them. I actually felt quite voyeuristic during some of them but felt that they also gave me a further insight into characteristics that were evolving and a surprising affinity for them too.
I just loved this-it was psychological suspense perfection and a 5* page turner from beginning to end. Buy it now!!!!
Never Alone is available here to buy at Amazon UK