Friday 9 August 2019

Review ~ The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

6 June 2019

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

What did I think about it..

When Ailsa Calder opens up the old Scottish Manse which was once her childhood home, she has few memories of spending time there, and most of her recollections are bound up with the mysterious disappearance of her father when she was just seven years old. Years later, her family circumstances have now changed, and Ailsa has inherited a half share in the old house, the only problem is the other half still belongs to her father and he hasn't been seen for twenty-seven years.

From the start of the story there is something deliciously creepy about the house, and Ailsa and her half sister, Carrie find that living in a place where mysterious things keep happening does nothing to ease the tension. Mixing with the local community Ailsa finds that old animosities run deep, and her return to The Manse is filled with an eerie sense of unease.

The creeping menace, which is evident from the start, is done in an entirely realistic way and the brooding nature of the house, with its mysterious happenings and the animals who don't venture too close, make this story into a clever mix of normal and paranormal. The story has a slow and steady pace which helps to maintain the tension and both Ailsa and Carrie are interesting characters, quite different as half-sisters tend to be and yet, there is a shared bond between them, especially in their recollections of their enigmatic mother.

The story flows well and the author has done a great job in maintaining the tension, and for me the deliberate slowness of the novel is part of its appeal, so that when things do go bump in the night and the house starts its scary stuff, I  was genuinely creeped out ๐Ÿ‘ป

The Missing Years is a complex suspense story, with a dark and brooding Gothic edginess, which kept me entertained and absorbed from first page to last.

Lexie Elliott grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the highlands. She graduated from Oxford University where she obtained a doctorate in theoretical physics. She now works in fund management in London, where she lives with her husband two sons. She is also a keen sportswoman. Her first novel , The French Girl, was published in 2018.

Twitter @elliott_lexie #TheMissingYears


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