A Richard and Judy recommendation for the 2012 Summer Book Club, this is a brilliant Gothic novel in the vein of Daphne du Maurier. A chance encounter: When Sarah meets dark, brooding Alex, she grasps his offer of a new life miles away from her own. They've both recently escaped broken relationships, and need to start again. Why not do it together? A perfect life: But when Sarah gets to the tiny village of Burrington Stoke, something doesn't add up. Alex's beautiful wife Genevieve was charming, talented, and adored by all who knew her. And apparently, she and Alex had a successful marriage complete with a gorgeous son, Jamie. Why would Genevieve walk out on her perfect life? And why has no one heard from her since she did so? A web of lies: Genevieve's family and all her friends think that Alex knows more about her disappearance than he's letting on. But Sarah's fallen in love with him and just knows he couldn't have anything to hide. Or could he?
Louise Douglas?s third novel is an ideal holiday read ? a gripping blend of romance and murder mystery. The story itself starts on a holiday ? Sarah?s. It is August and Sarah has fled to Roman-hot Sicily after discovering her partner has slept with her best friend. Worse, his betrayal came shortly after Sarah gave birth to their stillborn baby son. Doubly devastated, Sarah joins her sister and brother-in-law in a sleepy Sicilian hotel where she meets Alex, a darkly intense man who is with his six-year-old boy, Jamie. Only weeks earlier, Alex?s wife, the beautiful Genevieve, walked out on husband and son and nothing has been heard of her since. Sarah and Alex are powerfully drawn to each other from the outset and within days have a passionate encounter. Sarah finds herself agreeing to Alex?s suggestion that she join him and Jamie in their rural Somerset home to look after them both, as housekeeper and nanny. Her sister and wider family are appalled ? they think she is being reckless and quite possibly having some kind of breakdown ? but she forges ahead, and a few weeks later finds herself back in England and on a train to Somerset. Alex and a sulky Jamie (who resents this stranger entering his world) meet Sarah at the station and they drive to Avalon, Alex?s rambling, sprawling, scruffy house deep in the countryside within sight of ancient Glastonbury Tor. A new and increasingly sinister chapter is Sarah?s life has begun. What has she got herself into?
Louise Douglas is a copywriter and lives in Bristol with her partner and three children. The Secrets Between Us is her third novel.