Review published on June 17, 2016.
I think it must have been quite hard to follow up the success of The Ice Twins, a book I loved. I’m not sure The Fire Child quite lives up to that one but I did enjoy it. It is the story of Rachel Kerthen, newly married to the older and widowed David Kerthen. For 1000 years his family have lived in Carnhallow House in Cornwall. He has an eight year old son, Jamie, who is still grieving for his mother. Jamie starts behaving strangely and Rachel starts to doubt what happened to his mother.
The book has a sinister feel to it and reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The house is a big part of the story and adds to the underlying sense of malice that plays throughout it all. Rachel is an unreliable narrator. I never knew whether I trusted her or not, similarly with David and Jamie. The author kept me guessing.
As with many of these sorts of books, in order to create a story that has the requisite twists and turns, sometimes it doesn’t quite ring true, but it didn’t matter as it all came together to make a very good psychological thriller with an excellent sense of place.
Nicola Smith 4/4
The Fire Child by S K Tremayne
HarperCollins 978-0008105839 hbk June 2016
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