Dark Shadows Reviews


4 stars - An engaging psychological story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2024
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"Downhill was one of my favourite reads in the last year, so I had been looking forward to the sequel – Dark Shadows. I was not disappointed. It has a different feel to Downhill which was gritty and incredibly moving. Its sequel is more psychological, but still has the emotion and interest that attracted me to both books.
It focuses on successful author, Elaine McCairn, who rents a cottage in the Peak District to finish her book and recharge her batteries. It’s a cottage she knows well, having lived there with her husband – now ex-husband– who rents it out with his new wife. Hoping the environment will inspire her, it instead rekindles painful memories of a life she once enjoyed there which went sour, as well as taking her back to a tragic accident she was involved in in her home town of Castle Ridge.
That accident, and the people affected by it, provides the connection to the previous novel which the author clever links into throughout. Throw in a mysterious stranger who makes Elaine’s time at the cottage difficult to say the least and you have everything you need for a tense drama as Elaine battles her demons.
I enjoyed Dark Shadows very much. Ann Thorsson’s style of writing is engaging: the plot moves along at a good pace and the characters are developed well through the use of flashbacks and events told in real time which give the reader a great insight into their depth. I also loved being in the Peaks with the characters – one of my favourite areas.
Dark Shadows could be read as a standalone, but I would thoroughly recommend Downhill too if you’ve not read it."

5 stars Dark Shadows..... Ann's third novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 August 2022
"This is Ann's third novel, Dark Shadows. It picks up 25 years on from her first book, Downhill. Dark Shadows can be read as a stand-alone but Downhill is a fabulous piece of work and gives great background to this third outing. It is really captivating to see how life has treated some of the characters from Ann's first book, also to be introduced to characters who were only hinted at. As I have come to expect from Ann's books now, there are twists and turns, enlightenment and sadness, not always when or where expected. The characters are so believable and identifiable, you can't always run away from your history. All i can say is.... buy it, you will not be disappointed."

5 stars - An engaging read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2022
"Dark Shadows is a thrilling read which had the effect of evoking an array of emotions within me. Sadness, hope, suspense and fear are utilised well throughout and kept me fully engaged. The author is skilled in creating vivid images allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the story. It was a very enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to purchasing Ann’s future writing projects."

5 stars - Riveting!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2022
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"Very relatable with a thrilling ending. I didn't want this story to end. Thoroughly enjoyed it."

5 stars - Couldn't put it down!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 May 2022
"This can definitely be enjoyed as a stand alone novel, but I recommend reading Downhill and Dark Dreams first if you can.
The characters are completely believable and the plot keeps you wanting to turn the pages.
I enjoyed everything about this book- particularly the well drawn setting, which is a fictional version of my hometown.
I do hope there will be more books from Ann Thorsson based around Castle Ridge."

5 stars - Lots of twists to keep you gripped.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 May 2022
"Really enjoyed dark shadows there was lots of twists and turned.
I am normally good at working out what will happen next and a few times in this book I thought I worked out what was coming up and I got it completely wrong.
Gripping and easy reading book from start to finish I read it on kindle and the format was spot on.
100% worth a read."

5 stars - Brilliant and captivating
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2022
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"Got so caught in the story, the storyline, and the characters. Thorsson has a brilliant and captivating way of telling a story, describing the characters and their lives. I can still smell Steve, all Alana's problems, childhood, the stalking, Jack in the middle of it all, the past/present with Will. Really nice to get a following up on Will and family, and the need to know if Alana/Elaine would get some deserved happiness in life, just kept me in suspense from start to finish."

4 stars
Reviewed on Goodreads - 26.04.2022

"Sequel of Downhill (which I also highly recommend!), this novella can be read as a standalone nevertheless.

Following a traumatic event in her teenage years, Elaine has left her village, changed her name (she is now Alana), and has become a famous author. She still is plagued though by the memories of her involvement in the tragic accident involving the death of a child...
Her life looks now perfect, she returns to her village to work on a new book and maybe face her past? She will not be alone in this quest, as she starts getting spooked by some unexplainable (to her!) occurrences: is she being stalked? Have her imagination, her compulsive anxiety and obsession taken over? I particularly enjoyed that though this novel (177 pages!) is short, the author succeeded in making me straight away feel very anxious and fearful for and with Alana!!!
Highly recommended!"

5 stars - Tense, dark drama
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 April 2022
"This is the follow up book to ‘Downhill’ but I think it can easily be read as a stand alone as well
Alana is a now famous author but cannot settle re her past, she makes the decision to rent her old home via airbnb from her ex Jack and his new wife Olivia to concentrate on her writing, is this asking for trouble?, Maybe but she is sure it is the right way forward
However when she gets there almost immediately things start to go wrong and then a ‘tramp’ is discovered to be living in the very close vicinity, accepted it seems by the locals ( who are a great set of village characters ) but Alana is unsure, who is he and what does he want?
The authors 3rd book in her own ‘spooky’ style, this is a good drama that I enjoyed and had me questioning the whole way through"