The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas | Blog Tour

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas, and sharing my review. 

Title - The Secret by the Lake
Author - Louise Douglas
Publication Date - November 19th 2015
Publisher - Black Swan
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 414

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 really don't know where on earth to begin with my review of The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas. Do I first mention the dark and compelling plot? Or should I talk about how deep beneath my skin Louise's characters managed to submerge themselves? Or, perhaps I should comment on the fact that not only was The Secret by the Lake a gripping mystery, but it was an eerie unravelling of one Somerset village's hidden past that kept me awake way past midnight? In all fairness, it really doesn't matter which way I decide to go with my review, because all roads of discussion will lead me to the same final conclusion... I loved it.

Louise Douglas begins The Secret by the Lake beautifully, as she whisks us back in time within the prologue, to the year of 1931. As a small yet delectable slice of the past is revealed to us, the character we meet remains without an identity, immediately rocketing my intrigue and leaving me with a hundred and one questions as to who she is and what, exactly, she is up to. I think I knew, from the prologue itself, that what Louise Douglas had in store for me would be quite special. Within those first few pages, nothing yet everything was revealed to me all at once, and I absolutely loved it. I was eager to know more, desperate to begin my reading of the rest of the novel, and to watch as Louise slipped the pieces into place for me and answered my questions.

Thirty years later in France, and Louise introduces us to a brand new character whose first-person narrative is a real treat. Amy has worked for the wealthy Laurent family for years, and so, when she's called back to a distraught Julia, while in Sheffield, she feels she has no choice but to go to her, which leads Amy to the cottage in the quiet, innocent-looking Somerset Village. But things are never quite as peaceful as they appear on the surface...

One thing that I must comment on in regards to Louise Douglas's writing is how stunningly atmospheric the scenes were within this novel. Chilled to the bone is how I felt throughout most of the chapters, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover an element of the supernatural which only added to the darkness within the pages. Louise managed to go so far as to keep me from stepping across the hall with the lights off because the writing had affected me so much. I adored the tone and feel of The Secret by the Lake, enticing and suffocating sometimes, I found it addictive and didn't dare to put it down.

The whole unravelling of the plot was utterly absorbing. Every chapter held a clue towards the mystery that Amy found herself in. The cottage in which she moved to, to be alongside Julia and her daughter Vivi, was old and full of character, although not in the best state. It was a superb place for this story to be told in, adding so much atmosphere to the tale.

Overall, I absolutely loved The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas. Drenched in secrets, I was completely gripped from beginning to end. It was a joy to be beside Amy as she ventured into the village and began to put the pieces of a mysterious character's past into place and I was excited to see how it would all end. Louise Douglas has created a sublime masterpiece with this novel, one which will draw me to Douglas's future releases with a keen and eager eye. Fantastic in every sense of the word, I'd read The Secret by the Lake in a heartbeat. Five cupcakes from Becca's Books.

Louise was born in Sheffield but lives in the West Country with her husband Kevin. She has three sons who she adores, and two dogs, Lil and Lola, who take her walking in the Mendip hills. She has a day job working for Europe’s biggest aircraft manufacturer and she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, walking and being with her friends, both in real life and on social media. She sincerely hopes that anyone who reads it will enjoy The Secret by the Lake, which was completely inspired by Blagdon Lake, close to her home.

You can find Louise Douglas on Facebook | Twitter |

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