Title: A Place to Lie
Author: Rebecca Griffiths
In a dark, dark wood
In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.
There was a dark, dark house
Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?
A Place To Lie is an atmospheric, eerie story which makes for really addictive reading. Rebecca Griffiths manages to combine a pretty dark subject matter – the horrible and very odd death of Joanna’s sister Caroline, a missing child from long ago and other occurances that I won’t give away here – with fairytale-style (and, at times, quite whimsical) overtones created by the dark, dark wood and the mysterious happenings deep in the countryside so long ago.
The story combines two main timeframes really well, with Joanna in the present day trying to find out why Caroline did what she did, whilst reminiscing about their days as children spent in Witchwood. Does the key to unlocking what happened to Caroline rest in their past? As the reader you’re led between the 1990’s and the present day, and I found the entire journey beautifully written and completely addictive. I loved slowly uncovering what happened to Caroline and Joanna as children, and the disturbing secrets that Witchwood and the people living there were keeping. There’s plenty of family drama and Rebecca Griffiths avoids tying up every loose thread, which usually infiruriates me but in A Place to Lie just seemed to work. I would love to hear more from these characters and this world, so I have my fingers crossed that there’ll be a sequel, but this along with her other book, The Primrose Path, has cemented Griffiths in my mind as an author whose future books I just can’t miss!
Many thanks to Sphere for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.