The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas – Guest review by Louise Wykes

Today I have a guest review from Louise Wykes who has written this great review of The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas. The Secret of the Lake is published by Black Swan on 19 November 2015.


Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.

But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.

Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?”

I have to admit to have not having read anything by this author so was completely surprised and delighted to discover this was such a thrilling and exciting read so I certainly want to try more by this author.

It is the 1960s and Amy has left her father in England to go and work for the Laurents family in France where she works as a live in nanny and develops a beautifully close relationship with the whole family but especially the young girl Vivi.  Circumstances change when her grandmother becomes ill and she has to return to England to look after her.  However tragedy strikes for the Laurents family and Julia and Vivi end up having to return to England to live in an isolated cottage.  Amy returns to them both unquestioningly to help them adjust to the incredibly different life they have to get used to.   However Reservoir Cottage is filled with secrets and intrigue and strange things begin happening in the house and the only thing that can distract Amy is her blossoming relationship with Daniel, the son of a local landowner.

This is a wonderfully gothic story filled with menace from the past which is still being felt to this day.  The setting is beautifully described and I love the way that the lake itself becomes an integral part of the story and takes on a character of its own, ever changing with the seasons and not willingly giving up the secrets it has been witness to.

This book reminded me very much of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier in that it is atmospheric and chilling that the reader has no choice but to keep turning the pages to see what happens. I cared deeply about Amy and her relationship with Daniel was beautifully drawn.  I highly recommend this evocative, involving story with a mystery and a love story at its heart.  This would be the ideal book to read on a dark, winter’s night, though you may want to check your spare room before going to sleep!

You can buy the book here.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. This is getting a lot of intriguing reviews – the TBR pile grows again!


    1. janetemson says:

      Louise has written a great review. I think I need to add it to my TBR 🙂


  2. Claire says:

    This is the second great review I’ve read of this book today – it’s on the TBR list for sure!


    1. janetemson says:

      I’ve seen lots of reviews about it too. Louise has done a great review. I’ve not read it yet but I think I need to 🙂


  3. I’m putting this on my Christmas wish list!


    1. janetemson says:

      Fingers crossed you get it then 🙂


  4. It had me hooked despite my aversion to ghostly goings on! Great review Janet!


    1. janetemson says:

      It’s all Louise’s work 🙂 I’ve not read it yet but I think I need to!


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