Title: Lost Girl
Author: J.C. Grey
Published: January 23rd 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars
She’s the ‘It’ girl who had it all–so why has she run?
Emerald Reed–McAllister, a high–profile model and stylist, has always been careful to make sure no one sees the real her. Not even her husband Marc–ambitious, intelligent and adoring–knows the real Em.
So when tragedy sends a wrecking ball through her seemingly perfect world, she flees–heading far away from the life she has created for herself. After a near collision in the dark, Em, in a panic, steers off the road and discovers Lammermoor House, a crumbling old ruin that seems mysteriously welcoming–even, just perhaps, a sanctuary.
As the days pass, Em starts to believe the house is having a healing effect on her battered soul. But not everyone is happy about Em being there…A series of odd events make Em feel a little uneasy. Why are some in town so insistent she leave right away? And what is behind the locked door on the first floor?
But as the house slowly begins to reveal its secrets, past and present collide with devastating impact and Em finally comes to understand what really matters. And to save what she treasures most, Em will have to face all the ghosts of the past…
Australian romantic suspense author J.C. Grey is the author of two previous published novels, Southern Star and Desert Flame, both of which I have enjoyed. Grey branches out into the mystery genre with her latest novel, titled Lost Girl. It is an eerie tale of one woman’s quest to put the ghosts and fears of the past to rest.
Known as an ‘It’ girl, Emerald (Em) Reed McAllister, is a highly sought after model and stylist. Hiding behind her professional facade, Em makes sure she never reveals her true self to those around her. Keeping the secrets of her past close to her chest is Em’s game. Even Em’s husband Marc has no inclination of Em’s background. Em and Marc have worked hard to build an ideal world for themselves, but when a shocking event hits close to home, Em’s natural instinct is to run. A traffic accident soon after leads Em unexpectedly to Lammermoor House. This dilapidated abode offers Em a strange sense of comfort and for reasons unknown, draws Em into its fold. A time goes on, Em becomes aware of the power of Lammermoor in healing her emotional wounds. But as Em begins to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, others are not too happy with her choice of sanctuary. Slowly the house gives up its secrets. At the same time, Em must confront her past, in order to move on in the present.
Lost Girl is a novel that strikes the right balance between genres. It is a solid mystery, romance and haunting suspense novel in one. I have enjoyed the writing of J.C. Grey in the past and I was looking forward to exploring the latest novel by this Australian romantic suspense writer. Overall, I found my response to this novel was a positive one.
I had a feeling that Lost Girl was going to be a little unnerving, the title and blurb alluded to a haunting read. Lost Girl did incite a few chills and I did feel a sense of unease at times while I was reading this novel. I was impressed by J.C Grey’s ability to conjure up a suspense filled tale that clearly evoked an eerie atmosphere. There were times when the setting, mostly Lammermoor House, appeared to be more of a character than a locale. I enjoy tales that are built on gothic undertones and Lammermoor House had plenty of secrets to reveal.
The placement of a famous model and stylist, who seemingly appears absolutely perfect at the centre of this novel was a good narrative move by J.C. Grey. Em is a character that the reader is able to sympathise with and develop a sense of affection towards. I enjoyed the slow unravelling of Em’s character and past. I continued to flick through the pages of this novel, as I wanted to find out more about the illusive Em and her secret world. The support of characters such as Em’s husband Marc adds to the unfolding tale. Grey includes some complicated characters in Lost Girl, but it was an interesting journey getting to know them.
Readers will find Lost Girl quite heartbreaking and perhaps emotionally quite draining once the big reveal takes place. This is not a light touch read and I would suggest that if you are looking for an escapist style read this is not your best option. However, if you like a book that will send a jolt to your system and will make you think twice about things then Lost Girl would be your type of read. Once you are immersed in the drama of Em’s life and the dark force of Lammermoor, it is hard to let go until the end.
A tingling tale for cold winter nights and warm blankets, Lost Girl by J.C. Grey comes recommended.
Lost Girl by J.C. Grey was published on 23rd January 2017 by Harlequin Mira. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Lost Girl, J.C. Grey, visit here.
Lost Girl is book #39 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge
*Book ‘g’ of the a-z author challenge 2018