The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward

Format: Hardback

Published by: Orion Books

A perfect read as the nights draw in, dark, oozing atmosphere with a menacing sense of foreboding


When well-to-do Hester learns of her sister Mercy’s death at a Nottinghamshire workhouse, she travels to Southwell to find out how her sister ended up at such a place.

Haunted by her sister’s ghost, Hester sets out to uncover the truth, when the official story reported by the workhouse master proves to be untrue. Mercy was pregnant – both her and the baby are said to be dead of cholera, but the workhouse hasn’t had an outbreak for years. 

Hester discovers a strange trend in the workhouse of children going missing. One woman tells her about the Pale Lady, a ghostly figure that steals babies in the night. Is this lady a myth or is something more sinister afoot at the Southwell poorhouse? 

As Hester investigates, she uncovers a conspiracy, one that someone is determined to keep a secret, no matter the cost…

My Thoughts:

Firstly many thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of the book to review and to Compulsive Readers for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Having read and enjoyed the authors previous books I was eagerly looking forward to reading The Shadowing and it doesn’t disappoint.

What you have is a historical gothic tale that hits all the right spots, it hooks you in for the opening pages and keeps you entertained and enthralled right up to the end.

One thing that came across for me as I read the book thanks to the authors writing was a terrific sense of place and feel for the characters, the writing evokes and takes you back to the period with its descriptive narrative and passages, you can feel yourself immersed and transported back in time.

The characters are wonderfully brought to life on the page, Hester comes across as a strong woman with a determination to seek the truth, quick wit and an intelligence that belies her years, she also seems to be at times conflicted with her Quaker upbringing but she also has a sense of duty.

The plot is fresh and written in a way to so that you not quite sure where the story is heading, packed with twists and turns as well as intrigue and menace, the pacing is spot on for the times

The book has the feel of a thriller sprinkled with the gothic supernatural and even a hint of hidden romance. A sense of foreboding lurks round every corner

This is a book made to be read on a dark evening as the light starts to fade and every sound heightens the senses.

Would highly recommend, a compelling story that needs to be read


Categories 2021 Reviews

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