The picturesque holiday town of Morannez is about to get busy for the holiday season. Mila is living there temporarily while looking after her niece, Ani, whose parents were tragically killed in a boating accident. Ani’s mother Simone was Mila’s step-sister and they had been extremely close.
While Mila bides her time in Morannez, waiting for Ani to leave for boarding school, she’s taken over from Simone, working for her step-mother, Ceci who has an agency that traces missing people.
The book starts off with a sense of foreboding: Mila is anxiously waiting for Ani to return home from her friend’s house but she is late and Mila is frantic as she can’t get hold of her, she decides to go and see if she can find her so she heads out on the route that Ani would take. It turns out that Ani has fallen and Mila finds her being taken care of by a traveling woman named Gosia, who has only recently set up camp nearby.
Mila and Ani return home but the following day Mila decides to go and check on Gosia, and to thank her again for helping. However when she arrives at the caravan, she discovers that Gosia is dead! The local doctor assures Mila that it was natural causes, but Mila is immediately suspicious. Where is the notebook that she had seen the previous night, that Gosia had claimed was her ‘work’? It’s nowhere to be found.
Although she’s disturbed by the entire incident, she knows she has other issues to focus on. She’s promised Ceci that she will meet her for lunch so that she can be introduced to the man who will take over her role at the agency when she returns to London. She’s surprised when Carter Jackson arrives, an old friend of hers and Simone. She’s not sure he’s the right man for the job, but Ceci is adamant that he is.
The story proceeds … it’s well paced and there’s always something that hints at not being quite right, although the twists will keep you guessing! I loved the darker theme that prevailed: the references to curses and cures and to legend and folklore. Add to this the fact that Mila speaks to Simone constantly, and we hear Simone’s voice throughout! Even though she’s gone, she is till very much a part of Mila’s narrative.
Mila is a complex, but likeable character. She’s been thrown into a role she never really wanted and is so unsure of herself when it comes to taking care of Ani. It’s easier for her to show affection to her cat, rather than to an actual person!
As suspicion and fear mount in Morannez, Mila becomes convinced that there’s a link between Gosia’s death and the smear campaign against the professor heading up a nearby archeological dig. She is determined to get to the bottom of whatever is going on.
A great read that will keep readers guessing! Thank you to RaRa Resources and Boldwood Books for the blog tour…