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They wanted to get away. But now they can't get out. A page-turning thriller perfect for fans of Ruth Ware's IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and Lucy Foley's THE HUNTING PARTY. "Down By The Water takes the reader on a weekend trip from hell... I loved the classy writing and ever-growing sense of unease in this clever subversion of a classic country house mystery" Harriet Tyce "Sinister They wanted to get away. But now they can't get out. A page-turning thriller perfect for fans of Ruth Ware's IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and Lucy Foley's THE HUNTING PARTY. "Down By The Water takes the reader on a weekend trip from hell... I loved the classy writing and ever-growing sense of unease in this clever subversion of a classic country house mystery" Harriet Tyce "Sinister and atmospheric" Chris Brookmyre "Tense, mesmerising and heartbreaking, I was truly gripped" Susi Holliday Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them.


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They wanted to get away. But now they can't get out. A page-turning thriller perfect for fans of Ruth Ware's IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and Lucy Foley's THE HUNTING PARTY. "Down By The Water takes the reader on a weekend trip from hell... I loved the classy writing and ever-growing sense of unease in this clever subversion of a classic country house mystery" Harriet Tyce "Sinister They wanted to get away. But now they can't get out. A page-turning thriller perfect for fans of Ruth Ware's IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and Lucy Foley's THE HUNTING PARTY. "Down By The Water takes the reader on a weekend trip from hell... I loved the classy writing and ever-growing sense of unease in this clever subversion of a classic country house mystery" Harriet Tyce "Sinister and atmospheric" Chris Brookmyre "Tense, mesmerising and heartbreaking, I was truly gripped" Susi Holliday Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them.

30 review for Down by the Water

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    DOWN BY THE WATER is a mystery thriller by Elle Connel. Seven women are on in sleeper cabins on a train bound for a castle in Scotland. This was to be a weekend retreat to reconnect where they had all met, before one of the women, Georgina gets married. They had met in university, and now years later some were married with children and others not and now the hen party was underway. The seven women on the trip included: Tessa- a Doctor Harriet-had been a novelist but was now married to Freddie with t DOWN BY THE WATER is a mystery thriller by Elle Connel. Seven women are on in sleeper cabins on a train bound for a castle in Scotland. This was to be a weekend retreat to reconnect where they had all met, before one of the women, Georgina gets married. They had met in university, and now years later some were married with children and others not and now the hen party was underway. The seven women on the trip included: Tessa- a Doctor Harriet-had been a novelist but was now married to Freddie with two children (cool & demanding) Melissa- a Vet (petite, bright and loyal) Bea-Married to Mohammed with two identical twin girls (took drugs) Alice-Married to wife Rachael Georgie-Getting married and hosting the retreat Harriet, Melissa and Georgie had stayed in touch since university. Georgie had asked all of her university gang best friends to be her bridesmaids at her approaching wedding. Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. And then later when they look at the pictures, they see a small boy that has drowned in the water. But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend progresses more secrets and lies become known. Their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them. This well-written novel that shows how friendships over time can change, as each take their own path. Life is made up of Choices…Decisions…Consequences… You make your own path! Many thanks to the author, Headline Books, The Book Club and NetGalley for my digital copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel, set over the course of a weekend at a hen party in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Said to have been partially inspired by a true story, it follows seven friends and is situated near a beautiful sea-loch, it seems like the perfect place to get away from the outside world. But the weekend is terrifyingly derailed when the girls spot the figure of a boy in one of their group photos by the water. They thought they knew each othe Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel, set over the course of a weekend at a hen party in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Said to have been partially inspired by a true story, it follows seven friends and is situated near a beautiful sea-loch, it seems like the perfect place to get away from the outside world. But the weekend is terrifyingly derailed when the girls spot the figure of a boy in one of their group photos by the water. They thought they knew each other's darkest moments, but one of them has been hiding a devastating secret. And amid the drunken revelries of the weekend, she will find the perfect moment to wreak her revenge. This is a compulsive and richly atmospheric contemporary thriller steeped in mystery and with some heart-pounding reveals. Elle Connel uses her secluded and richly described setting to plunge readers into a perfectly chilling environment where danger – both from the natural world, and from the people you thought you could trust – lurks around every corner. Combined with the tight timeframe of one weekend, a dynamic cast of characters, and some heart-stopping and wicked twists, this makes for a truly unputdownable read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    This is the last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Seven friends, in total will be participating in the wedding. They're staying in a castle near the woods and a loch. After imbibing quite a bot, they decide to take selfie in front of the loch to post on social media. It's only later when they are looking at the pictures, what they see is impossible ... it's the image of a young boy, emerging from the water. They search for the boy, but are unable to locate him ... if he really exists. The This is the last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Seven friends, in total will be participating in the wedding. They're staying in a castle near the woods and a loch. After imbibing quite a bot, they decide to take selfie in front of the loch to post on social media. It's only later when they are looking at the pictures, what they see is impossible ... it's the image of a young boy, emerging from the water. They search for the boy, but are unable to locate him ... if he really exists. They are miles and miles away from the nearest town.. so where did he come from .. and where did he go? As the weekend progresses, the ladies' perfect weekend turns into a nightmare. Secrets and lies are exposed .... and they're desperate to leave .. but someone won't let them. So what secrets do these women have? They were all once so close ... what has happened in the intervening years? This is a suspenseful mystery, cleverly written, with a cast of solidly defined characters. There are twists and turns that lead to a surprising conclusion. Secondary characters are intriguing and add much to the intricate plot. Many thanks to the author / Headline Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this mystery. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    Seven friends are celebrating a last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding when disaster strikes turning a perfect getaway into a nightmare from which they might never fully recover Down by the Water by Elle Connel is a fun ,suspenseful, well written, character driven novel with surprising twists and turns that made it an entertaining read I would like to thank the TBC Reviewers request group & the author for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review Seven friends are celebrating a last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding when disaster strikes turning a perfect getaway into a nightmare from which they might never fully recover Down by the Water by Elle Connel is a fun ,suspenseful, well written, character driven novel with surprising twists and turns that made it an entertaining read I would like to thank the TBC Reviewers request group & the author for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thank you to the author, publishers Wildfire and online book club Pigeonhole for access to read this book for free. This is an honest and voluntary review. I love Pigeonhole. The online book club gives me access to a variety of books and the freedom to choose things I might not have otherwise tried. The stave format, where a few chapters are released a day, works for 99.999% of books, and is often used to great effect for thrillers where the stave can be ended right on a cliffhanger. However, I d Thank you to the author, publishers Wildfire and online book club Pigeonhole for access to read this book for free. This is an honest and voluntary review. I love Pigeonhole. The online book club gives me access to a variety of books and the freedom to choose things I might not have otherwise tried. The stave format, where a few chapters are released a day, works for 99.999% of books, and is often used to great effect for thrillers where the stave can be ended right on a cliffhanger. However, I do think it impacted on my ability to get into this book. If I’d been reading at my own pace for example I would have found it easier to skim past the excessive recreational drug taking by grown-up professional women and might have found these characters little bit more likeable. Tessa, Bea, Harriet, Melissa, Alice (and her wife Rachael) are travelling to an isolated castle to celebrate the hen party of university friend Georgie. Snorting ketamine is apparently an essential part of this experience. It’s the first time in years they’ve all been together, just the old friends, apart from Alice’s wife, and there are awkward moments as their new lives rub up against their student ones. Whether it’s the drugs or the sighting of a mysterious child in the background of a group photo at the aide of the castle loch, the weekend takes a dark turn. The language of this books is really excellent in places, there are some wonderful descriptions. The revealing of some back story through old diary entries is well done, and when these begin (about half way through the book) they helped to deliver tension as I pondered ulterior motives and what the real plans were for this weekend away. Unfortunately those positives aren’t enough to save this book for me. First off the characters. Harriet and Melissa might as well not have been there at all. They seemed a bit superfluous to the plot and made no impact. Overall I found the characters hard to engage with. They spend most of the book high, snorting ketamine and draining the place of alcohol. It’s not even justified by the plot. It’s used as an excuse once for why someone does something (no spoilers), but other than that it just seems to be a way of making all the characters unsympathetic. I could neither like nor hate Georgie. From very early on there are hints that the friends are scared of Georgie. They are cautious of how she will react, that perhaps sometimes she’s the life and soul of the party, but that if you anger her she’ll make your life hell. But, there are absolutely no examples of this in the book. There’s a suggestion she might have dosed mother of two Bea with ketamine in the trip there, possibly because of something she said that annoyed Georgie, but that never comes to anything. For this to have worked Georgie should have been both more charismatic and more cruel. Again, we’re told she can make someone feel special, like the centre of the world, but that’s not actually delivered in this story. Georgie just comes across as an unlikeable, basic b*tch, which made me question why any of these people had ever been friends with her. And, then there’s the climax of the story and the ending. This was just disappointing. The author may have been trying to avoid vengeance arc cliches, but there wasn't enough substance to justify trying something else. Instead it seemed like nothing was actually resolved, or admitted, or even guilt felt. It’s left a bit open ended, so that you can think oh this might have an impact, but given that nothing else really made a difference in the plot so far, I was just left feeling ambivalent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel set in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Seven friends are at a hen party weekend staying near a picturesque sea-loch. The seven women think they all know each other, but which of them has a devasting secret and who is the mystery person emerging from the water in one of their group self- timed photographs? I really enjoyed this richly atmospheric mystery tale. The author created a real sense of unease and danger through her sini Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel set in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Seven friends are at a hen party weekend staying near a picturesque sea-loch. The seven women think they all know each other, but which of them has a devasting secret and who is the mystery person emerging from the water in one of their group self- timed photographs? I really enjoyed this richly atmospheric mystery tale. The author created a real sense of unease and danger through her sinister descriptions of the chilling locale and the characterisation was also well done. With some wicked twists splashed about, this was a compelling and engrossing read. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Headline/ Wildfire via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bridgeman

    There is huge rate of personal growth which occurs between leaving school and going to university, a whole new world where you have the chance to re-invent yourself and shed the cocoon of childhood and parental expectations. And then, as a grown up, the friendships you make are often mistaken for genuine closeness because a part of you is clinging to a time which no longer exists, a time when you were somehow freer than you ever had a chance to be again. This is what 'Down By The Water' explores, There is huge rate of personal growth which occurs between leaving school and going to university, a whole new world where you have the chance to re-invent yourself and shed the cocoon of childhood and parental expectations. And then, as a grown up, the friendships you make are often mistaken for genuine closeness because a part of you is clinging to a time which no longer exists, a time when you were somehow freer than you ever had a chance to be again. This is what 'Down By The Water' explores, the contrast between the friends who knew each other since university, and yet, beyond Whatsapp chats, haven't seen each other for the best part of a decade or more. Tessa,now an anaesthetist, has been charged with finding a suitable venue for the hen weekend and picks a Scottish castle, not far from where 6 of them went to uni. Alice, an unknown quantity who studied maths and computer science, is working in a job she is not allowed to explain. Mel is a vet, Georgie works in fashion, Harriet was an author and now writes a 'mummy blog', and Bea is a librarian. Completing the group is Rachael, a doctoral candidate who studies pumas and is married to Alice, who wedged her into this group, making her a token outsider. The scene and tone is set right from the start, will the women fall into their assigned roles or have they moved on now that they have adult responsibilities such as partners, children, professional jobs? Tessa is identified as the 'mum' of the group, the one others turn to when they are in trouble and this is shown from the beginning where she refuses to join the others in acquiring, or taking ketamine on the train journey to the hen weekend. It is her and Bea's voices which come through as the protagonists , in contrast to the bitterness, bickering and underlying tension which mars almost every conversation. Georgie is marrying her long term boyfriend, Jack, and all the women have come laden with premium quality food stuffs, wine, champagne and more ketamine. The castle they are staying in is absolutely cut off, no wi-fi, no internet, no calling for help. Immediately you are concerned about how many of them will be coming back on the return train.... When estate keeper Tom comes and tells them the weekend needs to stretch until Monday due to a fallen tree that cannot be moved until then, the women are on tenterhooks. The isolated setting, the unexplainable boy who has appeared in a picture at the loch's edge, and bizarrely missing food acts as a fuse to the steadily increasing levels of bitterness. Add in narcotics, too much alcohol and hidden passages and suddenly it seems as if the castle was chosen for them, with a specific aim in mind. But whose? And what are they aiming for? An apology or revenge in the form of murder? This is such a deeply affecting novel, which looks at the internal and external pressures which women put on each other in the context of friendships. It is very realistic, the awkwardness of them all meeting up, and not only being aware of how much they have grown, but also why they have not been as close as maybe you would expect them to be. It is also desperately sad for reasons which I cannot go into(spoilers, sweetie!), and explores the nature of identity, conformity and growing up but not necessarily growing older. This is a weekend of hedonism and relaxation in preparation for a wonderful occasion, however, there is a darkness under the surface which firstly threatens, and secondly springs up in the women's faces like a time bomb waiting for the perfect moment to ignite. I would absolutely recommend it, I devoured the entire novel over the course of an afternoon, through into the early hours of the next morning and found it deeply affecting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fay Flude

    This is a book of two halves. It uses the well known format of a trip away with a group of friends where something will go wrong. In this instance it is a hen weekend in a Scottish castle featuring Georgie the bride to be and her university friends, Alice (and her partner Rachel), Harriet, Melissa, Bea and Tessa. The first part ensures the reader detests every single character. They are selfish, unkind, secretive and full of booze and drugs. They come across as an extremely unlikely group for any This is a book of two halves. It uses the well known format of a trip away with a group of friends where something will go wrong. In this instance it is a hen weekend in a Scottish castle featuring Georgie the bride to be and her university friends, Alice (and her partner Rachel), Harriet, Melissa, Bea and Tessa. The first part ensures the reader detests every single character. They are selfish, unkind, secretive and full of booze and drugs. They come across as an extremely unlikely group for anything happy to happen to. There is an oppressive sense of foreboding fuelled by the women's recklessness which could potentially put readers off. My advice? Find your way through the haar to the cottage in the grounds and Bea's discovery of a diary, and then you are promised a wealth of mystery, doubt, confusion and suspicion. The women certainly are not all they appear to be but as the story continues we are challenged to revise our opinion of at least one or two characters, well I was! I found what then followed deeply saddening and tragic but it did make sense of the plot and one character's motivations in particular. I enjoyed the way in which the past caught up with the present and even beyond the weekend at the castle into the future. There was a twist right near the close of the story and a very fitting ending which made me feel some hope for one hard working doctor. This is not the supernatural read some might think it will be given the synopsis but rather a messy unravelling of friendships and revenge. Thank you to the author and Pigeonhole for allowing me the opportunity to read Down By the Water.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mackenzie-Smaller

    I liked this, but wanted to love it. A hen party trip to a Scottish castle for bride to be Georgie, with a group of friends who haven’t been together for years. There’s a mysterious ghostly boy in a photograph and a spooky incident with a snake, but there’s also a good backstory involving the bride, the bride’s best friend and a mystery woman. I was hoping for a crime, or a big event but felt there was something decisive missing from the plot. Having said that, this is a group of women you can d I liked this, but wanted to love it. A hen party trip to a Scottish castle for bride to be Georgie, with a group of friends who haven’t been together for years. There’s a mysterious ghostly boy in a photograph and a spooky incident with a snake, but there’s also a good backstory involving the bride, the bride’s best friend and a mystery woman. I was hoping for a crime, or a big event but felt there was something decisive missing from the plot. Having said that, this is a group of women you can define love to hate. They are self-obsessed and take a lot of drugs. They are also remarkably lacking in curiosity about each others’ lives. Georgie, the bride, is an absolute horror. She does at least get more or less what she deserves. Great, lyrical writing in a lot of places. Just a bit less than it could have been I think. Read with The Pigeonhole.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Syeda Sumayya Tariq

    This was such a brilliantly written novel, been so long that I read a proper crazy, darkly chilling psychological thriller. It's all about the vibes really, the plot sounds just like any other, a group of friends go to a secluded place for a vacation and then all the dark secrets start to come out (one of my favorite plot settings!), but there was something dark, mad, and spooky about this story. I couldn't figure out where the story was headed until the very end, and the ending was just as craz This was such a brilliantly written novel, been so long that I read a proper crazy, darkly chilling psychological thriller. It's all about the vibes really, the plot sounds just like any other, a group of friends go to a secluded place for a vacation and then all the dark secrets start to come out (one of my favorite plot settings!), but there was something dark, mad, and spooky about this story. I couldn't figure out where the story was headed until the very end, and the ending was just as crazy, goosebump stuff, and I loved it! Very much recommended! But do take a look at the TW before heading in. Thanks to NetGalley, author, and publisher for the eARC. All opinions are myown.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Rickard

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The atmospheric descriptions were wonderful and the writing was excellent, beautiful at times! The characters were well thought out and mostly unlikable and untrustworthy meaning anything was possible. The occasional spooky element was great, just my cup of tea and I wanted more! A bit heavy on the alcohol and drugs early on though but that is just my opinion. A great plot and an entertaining read. Thank you Pigeonhole and Elle for this fantastic opportuni I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The atmospheric descriptions were wonderful and the writing was excellent, beautiful at times! The characters were well thought out and mostly unlikable and untrustworthy meaning anything was possible. The occasional spooky element was great, just my cup of tea and I wanted more! A bit heavy on the alcohol and drugs early on though but that is just my opinion. A great plot and an entertaining read. Thank you Pigeonhole and Elle for this fantastic opportunity.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Any kind of relationship requires work to maintain it so if you can spend time reconnecting as the place you met then that that can help especially if one of your is getting married. Seven women do just that and the events that follow is eerie and menacing. There were some of these characters that I definitely didn't connect with but the plot more than made up for it. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book. Any kind of relationship requires work to maintain it so if you can spend time reconnecting as the place you met then that that can help especially if one of your is getting married. Seven women do just that and the events that follow is eerie and menacing. There were some of these characters that I definitely didn't connect with but the plot more than made up for it. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Calyn Wilkin

    This book was tense from the beginning and the group of women involved just kept adding to it. There were quite a few characters and sometimes I struggled to remember who was who apart from the main two characters. The story flows quite quickly and I soon became immersed in it which led to many extra chapters being consumed when I should have been doing other things. The novel relies on a back story of the women's past relationships and this was really well threaded into the present day. The main This book was tense from the beginning and the group of women involved just kept adding to it. There were quite a few characters and sometimes I struggled to remember who was who apart from the main two characters. The story flows quite quickly and I soon became immersed in it which led to many extra chapters being consumed when I should have been doing other things. The novel relies on a back story of the women's past relationships and this was really well threaded into the present day. The main character Tess was obviously troubled and I was desperate to know why. The story basis was one lots of people can relate to; the changing of friendships over time and as lives invariably take differing paths, these may become broken. This is a really good psychological thriller which I totally recommend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    This seriously intense and suspenseful thriller centres around seven women Tessa, Bea, Harriet, Georgie, Rachael, Melissa and Alice and the events that occur over Georgie's hen weekend. They find themselves staying in a old castle that looks like a building from a Disney film and is situated near a loch in the Scottish Highlands. They plan to have a weekend of drinking, getting high, stupid party games, reminiscing about their pasts and catching up on what has been going on in their lives since t This seriously intense and suspenseful thriller centres around seven women Tessa, Bea, Harriet, Georgie, Rachael, Melissa and Alice and the events that occur over Georgie's hen weekend. They find themselves staying in a old castle that looks like a building from a Disney film and is situated near a loch in the Scottish Highlands. They plan to have a weekend of drinking, getting high, stupid party games, reminiscing about their pasts and catching up on what has been going on in their lives since they were all together as a group. But even before they arrive at their destination, it becomes glaringly apparent that there is a toxic atmosphere amongst the group and that some of the friends are not as close as they pretend to be. Things take a strange turn when not long after they arrive at the castle, the image of a drenched young boy emerging from the loch is captured in the background of one of their photographs, then their supplies start mysteriously disappearing. Their perfect weekend is turning into a living nightmare but when some of them decide that they want to leave, they are informed by the estate manager Tom that one of the roads is blocked by a fallen tree. So they find themselves stranded, in the middle of nowhere with no wi-fi, no phone signal and at the mercy of a unknown enemy who had their own personal reasons for luring the friends to that particular location.  You sometimes find in large groups of friends that their is usually someone who is the most popular member of the group and someone who always seems to be a bit of a outsider. In this story, Tessa saw herself as the outsider whilst Georgie was the one that the rest of the group were constantly worried about keeping happy and believe me, keeping her happy wasn't a easy task. My personal favourite from the group was Bea, the other six women I thought were quite irritating and unlikable for various reasons especially Georgie although I couldn't help feeling a tiny bit of admiration for Alice after she revealed what her mysterious occupation was. There was times when the atmosphere amongst the women was more toxic that a nest of rattlesnakes, some of the comments that were being bandied about had more sting in them that a snake bite. Interspersed throughout the main story was chapters where we followed Bea as she found ways to escape the other members of the group and immerse herself in the pages of a diary that she had found. She found herself captivated by the heart breaking story of a teenage girl who developed feelings for a boy named Jack and found herself manipulated, betrayed, abused and then basically abandoned by everyone she should have been able to rely on for support. But who was this person and how did her story fit into events that were unfolding in the present day? Omg, I thought this books was absolutely bloody incredible, a beautifully written, atmospheric,intense, suspense packed thriller that contained all the elements that I wish to find in a thriller. The isolated setting, the castle, the forest and the loch were intricately described with enough detail that you could close your eyes and place yourself there in your head. As with some human beings, mother nature can also be so beautiful and yet she also has a destructive side, a hidden darkness that can cause life changing devastation. The women were a diverse group of realistic individuals,each with their own unique personalities and character traits. I would love to watch a film or tv adaptation of this unputdownable, addictive read that is worthy of all the stars and more and very very highly recommended. I loved this book and it's definitely going to be one of my favourite reads of this year.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    'Down By The Water' by Elle Connel is a twisted and dark thriller that I found a compulsive read. Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last weekend before Georgie’s wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible 'Down By The Water' by Elle Connel is a twisted and dark thriller that I found a compulsive read. Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last weekend before Georgie’s wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They’re miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They’re desperate to leave – but someone won’t let them. A weekend away in a castle with all your best friends, surely this is set to be the best time of your life as a single woman...think again. They all plan this to be a memorable occasion and maybe it will be, but not for the reasons they think. A walk down to the Loch that is near the castle is the plan, a gorgeous backdrop for their pictures to keep as keepsakes for the future. As they look at their pictures they see a small boy, wet through from the loch, eyes wide open. None of them recollect the boy, and wonder where did he come from so late at night and where did he go to? This is the beginning of a chain of events that terrifies them, makes them want to pack up and leave immediately, but they are being watched and the watcher will do anything to keep them there. Well, as I said, dark and twisted, as well as terrifying at times. This book actually gave me goosebumps. Elle Connel has created a perfect setting, so perfect that I was dying to read on and yet, a little scared of what was coming next. She has shown perfectly the tensions that can be present in a friendship group such as Georgie and the rest. The fact that everything seems perfect on the surface when everybody is hiding something and the lengths people go to, to protect themselves. This is definitely a book that will make you think about your own friendships and even relationships. A highly recommended read if you like your books on the darker side. Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Elle Connel for my copy of the book to bring you my honest thoughts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Down by the Water tells of six women who were friends at university but have gradually drifted apart over time, the group are now gathered in a remote Scottish castle for a hen-weekend for bride-to-be Georgie. After drinks, they make their way to the shoreline of the nearby loch and take photos, which when viewed later show a small, drenched boy emerging from the water....but where did he come from? Where did he go? How did they not notice him at the time? The synopsis could give the impression o Down by the Water tells of six women who were friends at university but have gradually drifted apart over time, the group are now gathered in a remote Scottish castle for a hen-weekend for bride-to-be Georgie. After drinks, they make their way to the shoreline of the nearby loch and take photos, which when viewed later show a small, drenched boy emerging from the water....but where did he come from? Where did he go? How did they not notice him at the time? The synopsis could give the impression of the book being a supernatural thriller, but instead it's a slow building and atmospheric read as the threads of toxic friendship are gradually unravelled to reveal the rot at the very core. There are some "spooky" moments but it's the elegance of the writing which makes this such an atmospheric read. It's definitely a slow build, and some might find that the initial stages, where we get to know our cast of seven (the six friends, plus the wife of one of the original group), a bit drawn out. They are a hard bunch to like and the liberal use of alcohol and drugs only seems to emphasis how unpleasant and self-absorbed they all are. There are exceptions and one or two of the characters have redeeming qualities, especially as we get to know them more. As we progress through the book, a second thread to the narrative, in the form of a hidden diary, is woven through and more secrets spill out. I can't say much more without spoilers but there are some bits where we have to suspend disbelief a little to believe that this group of supposedly close friends were not all privy to some of the information which comes to light, but this is counterbalanced by some very well written poetic parallels in some scenes. Again, without spoilers, I found the ending a little weak and disappointing as it had generally been a cleverly plotted and well written book throughout, so I think I was expecting more from the finale. That said, a good read overall with a steadily building tension which would probably be even more pronounced if not read in daily released staves through Pigeonhole. 3.5 stars rounded to 4.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise Marley

    I downloaded this book because I'd read the blurb and somehow assumed it was a ghost story (boy appearing from nowhere in a photo, etc) but it's a psychological suspense! A group of friends arrive at an isolated Scottish castle for a weekend hen party. They haven't seen each other since university and there are still secrets, tensions and old grudges simmering away beneath the surface. Their holiday starts off well but begins to go wrong when they are trapped for an extra few days and the food my I downloaded this book because I'd read the blurb and somehow assumed it was a ghost story (boy appearing from nowhere in a photo, etc) but it's a psychological suspense! A group of friends arrive at an isolated Scottish castle for a weekend hen party. They haven't seen each other since university and there are still secrets, tensions and old grudges simmering away beneath the surface. Their holiday starts off well but begins to go wrong when they are trapped for an extra few days and the food mysteriously runs out. Strange things happen, they squabble amongst themselves, but then one finds a diary that could explain everything... I have mixed feelings about this story. The writing is good, the author is great at creating a creepy atmosphere and there is that constant feeling of menace. You just know Bad Things are going to happen. The characters are mostly horrible, particularly Georgie. I was hoping that if this was one of those books where they all got killed off one-by-one (it isn't), then she would be the first to go! While the second part of the story is a cracking read, the first part was a little too slow and I did have trouble working out who-was-who because of all the characters. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves slow-burn suspense and books like The Hunting Party (Lucy Foley) and In a Dark, Dark Wood (Ruth Ware). Thank you to Elle Connel and Wildfire (Headline) for my copy of this book which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather Copping

    Seven young women (Tessa, Rachel, Georgie, Bea, Melissa, Alice and Rachel) are on the overnight sleeper train to Scotland for a hen party for Georgies up coming wedding and although she hadn't seen the rest of the girls since university, Georgie has asked them to be her bridesmaids (except Rachel who is Alice's wife). After a long and eventful journey involving Bea taking ketamine on the train, a long and bumpy road to their accommodation (a castle) they eventually settle down to enjoy themselve Seven young women (Tessa, Rachel, Georgie, Bea, Melissa, Alice and Rachel) are on the overnight sleeper train to Scotland for a hen party for Georgies up coming wedding and although she hadn't seen the rest of the girls since university, Georgie has asked them to be her bridesmaids (except Rachel who is Alice's wife). After a long and eventful journey involving Bea taking ketamine on the train, a long and bumpy road to their accommodation (a castle) they eventually settle down to enjoy themselves. But as you now expect it's not going to be an uneventful hen party, as very soon friendships are strained and unexplained things are happening to play with their mindsets and the long weekend turns into a nightmare, running out of food and having to improvise with things either grown or living locally! Seeing people who are not there, or are they? Or could it be effects from drink or drugs? Are they the friends that they thought they were from years ago? As you read on you realise that there is a secret between them, someone in the group has done something maybe? It certainly keeps your attention throughout as you read on to find out the connection between the women and the happenings between them. At reaching the end of the book, I found that I had unanswered questions regarding the characters and their lives and I think it makes it one of those books that you must read more than once to answer those questions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gen

    Down by the water was definitely an adventure - a hen weekend I can well imagine with old Uni friends getting together who'd not seen each other in a long time. Trying to reclaim the old days where life was so different from the realities and responsibilities of adulthood. I enjoyed the premise of this story, the setting and mostly the characters although as some other reviewers have said there were quite a few to keep tabs on which I did find difficult to keep up with. The setting of the remote Down by the water was definitely an adventure - a hen weekend I can well imagine with old Uni friends getting together who'd not seen each other in a long time. Trying to reclaim the old days where life was so different from the realities and responsibilities of adulthood. I enjoyed the premise of this story, the setting and mostly the characters although as some other reviewers have said there were quite a few to keep tabs on which I did find difficult to keep up with. The setting of the remote scottish castle added a character of it's own, well described and I could imagine myself there with the eerie quite and darkness surrounding the tree lined sea loch and potential for odd goings on. I really found Georgie annoying but I think that was the authors point, I think we all know someone like her within friendship groups so she was relateably unlikeable. I did feel for Tessa and felt early on there was clearly something going on although perhaps because I unfortunately had to read in short snippets this time I didn't always follow as lucidly as I usually would which I think did hamper my reading. Down by the water is the kind of book you want to shut yourself away with so that you can fully immerse yourself in the characters and all the backstories so that the climax really packs a punch. An enjoyable read and I would happily read more from this author. 4 stars really because I struggled with so many key characters.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane Turner

    This one has a killer twist… Seven women met as students and come together again after many years to hold a hen’s night. The bride to be, Georgie, is… Well, to me she’s one of those noxious types who can change opinion on a dime, lie their hearts out, and change history according to their will. Those types whose personality just overrides everyone, and you either go with the flow or get drowned. Down by the Water focuses on repercussions of an old incident, horrible and with massive consequences, i This one has a killer twist… Seven women met as students and come together again after many years to hold a hen’s night. The bride to be, Georgie, is… Well, to me she’s one of those noxious types who can change opinion on a dime, lie their hearts out, and change history according to their will. Those types whose personality just overrides everyone, and you either go with the flow or get drowned. Down by the Water focuses on repercussions of an old incident, horrible and with massive consequences, instigated by Georgie but long forgotten to almost all… The characters involved are a little archetypal, but they are engaging and have their own additional foibles. There’s the optimist, the lesbian, the mother, the follower, the peacemaker, and, of course, Georgie. And then there’s Tessa, the one who remembers. The story twists and turns through the hen weekend, thoroughly marinated in alcohol, sometimes ambling, but always making me dislike Georgie more. It’s not til two-thirds of the way through that we get that key piece of information that just ramps the tension to the max. I raced through the last section, and was particularly impressed with the ending. Nope – no spoilers! More than anything else, though, this book is about schoolfriend relationships and fixing history. And it’s done brilliantly. If you’re after a female-led revenge thriller, Down by the Water will totally float your boat.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    A good book with some great plot lines and some unexpected twists I didn’t see coming. For some reason I just couldn’t seem to get into this book. There are a lot of main characters and it was about a third of the way through the book before I had who’s who clear in my head. Briefly, a group of women, who all went to university together, meet up to celebrate Georgie’s forthcoming wedding. A hen party in a remote castle in Scotland. Shortly after they arrive they take a walk to the loch and take A good book with some great plot lines and some unexpected twists I didn’t see coming. For some reason I just couldn’t seem to get into this book. There are a lot of main characters and it was about a third of the way through the book before I had who’s who clear in my head. Briefly, a group of women, who all went to university together, meet up to celebrate Georgie’s forthcoming wedding. A hen party in a remote castle in Scotland. Shortly after they arrive they take a walk to the loch and take some selfies. When they look at the photographs there is one with a young boy in the background, who appears to be drowning. Then as more strange things happen, and deep, dark secrets are revealed, they want to leave. But they can’t. What is preventing them? I really liked this writers style of writing and I will definitely read more but I never really got into this book properly. I found the characters to be unlikable and because there were so many of them I felt I maybe needed to know more and that there were a few loose ends. There are some pretty gory/gruesome parts in the book which some readers may find disturbing, not me! A satisfactory read but I was left needing more. 3.5*. My thanks to the author, TBC and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alice Hawthorne (whatalicereads)

    this was a solid mystery but I wasn’t fully gripped by it! ✨ things I liked: • the setting: a creepy castle in rural Scotland? perfect setting for mysterious goings-on! • the switching narratives: we got narratives from 3 main characters which made the story more engaging. • the writing: it wasn’t flowery or too detailed, but I loved the descriptions and was racing through the pages as the plot thickened. • the plot twists: I audibly gasped at some parts!! it was a clever, twisty turny plot that I this was a solid mystery but I wasn’t fully gripped by it! ✨ things I liked: • the setting: a creepy castle in rural Scotland? perfect setting for mysterious goings-on! • the switching narratives: we got narratives from 3 main characters which made the story more engaging. • the writing: it wasn’t flowery or too detailed, but I loved the descriptions and was racing through the pages as the plot thickened. • the plot twists: I audibly gasped at some parts!! it was a clever, twisty turny plot that I think will go down a treat for lovers of thrilling mysteries. 🏰 things I didn’t love: • the amount of characters: with 7 characters to keep up with, it was an ambitious task and lacked character development for me. I kept having to think back on who was who and it detached me from the story! • realism: personally, I couldn’t believe a lot about the plot and what the characters got up too and the decisions they made. • the characters themselves: the group were toxic and I didn’t love being among them as a reader. Thanks so much again to the publisher for my gifted copy in exchange for review! Definitely check out the trigger warnings for this book as it does deal with some heavy stuff in graphic detail. @whatalicereads on Instagram 🥰

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carly Hardwell

    I really enjoyed this book! It’s a cleverly constructed mystery thriller centred around a group of seven college friends who have reunited after years of minimal contact for a hen weekend to remember. Set in a remote Scottish castle, the location was extremely fitting for the themes of the book - beautiful yet isolated and creepy. This is definitely a character driven story and I thought they were brilliantly written and clearly defined - you really get to know each and every one of them well ove I really enjoyed this book! It’s a cleverly constructed mystery thriller centred around a group of seven college friends who have reunited after years of minimal contact for a hen weekend to remember. Set in a remote Scottish castle, the location was extremely fitting for the themes of the book - beautiful yet isolated and creepy. This is definitely a character driven story and I thought they were brilliantly written and clearly defined - you really get to know each and every one of them well over the course of the novel. One of the most interesting elements for me was the exploration of friendship; those seemingly sturdy bonds that were built at university and how those same connections fare years later in adulthood. It definitely throws up the question of if those friendships are still as rock solid as they used to be or if they are being clung on to for a time that no longer exists. I was intrigued by the fact that the ‘friends’ had barely seen or spoken to each other since university yet were all whisked away on the hen weekend, and with a few surprising twists and turns, everything became clear towards the end. This was a good, atmospheric read which I flew through in a couple of days. Big thanks to @annecater14 for my spot on the blog tour!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordi Hooper

    A big thanks to the publishers for an advanced readers copy of this novel - publication date 8th July 2021. Down by the Water is Lucy Ribchester's first novel under the pseudonym of Elle Connel. It follows a group of old university friends, reunited after several years apart when one of the group, Georgie, invites them to her hen weekend, leaving main character Tessa in charge of the plans. The story begins on a sleeper train, on their way to a deserted castle in rural Scotland. Old friends, a c A big thanks to the publishers for an advanced readers copy of this novel - publication date 8th July 2021. Down by the Water is Lucy Ribchester's first novel under the pseudonym of Elle Connel. It follows a group of old university friends, reunited after several years apart when one of the group, Georgie, invites them to her hen weekend, leaving main character Tessa in charge of the plans. The story begins on a sleeper train, on their way to a deserted castle in rural Scotland. Old friends, a creepy location and more than a few secrets... What could possibly go wrong? I really enjoyed this book. The premise isn't exactly original - in fact, I was struck by its similarly to The Hunting Party which I only recently finished reading. However, it was so much more inticing and the plot much richer. The characters were well developed and I felt I connected with them all. I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next and while there were no twists that massively blew me away, it wasn't too predictable either. A really enjoyable read. Would definitely recommend picking it up when it's released 😊

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Wild

    Seven friends from their university days meet up for a hen weekend in a castle on a loch in Scotland. During their first evening, after a few drinks, they decide to wander ‘down by the water’ to take some photos. Afterwards when looking through the photos, they discover something eerie in the form of a ghostly figure of a boy. The consequences of this vision has a strange effect on the rest of the weekend and secrets start to be revealed among the group. This story starts off quite slowly and it Seven friends from their university days meet up for a hen weekend in a castle on a loch in Scotland. During their first evening, after a few drinks, they decide to wander ‘down by the water’ to take some photos. Afterwards when looking through the photos, they discover something eerie in the form of a ghostly figure of a boy. The consequences of this vision has a strange effect on the rest of the weekend and secrets start to be revealed among the group. This story starts off quite slowly and it took me some time to get involved in the plot. It wasn’t until a little over halfway when I started to become more gripped. The characters aren’t particularly likeable - they all seemed to have their issues and seemed very wrapped up in themselves. I didn’t particularly enjoy all the drug references, it seemed a little excessive. I also found the ending somewhat disappointing and non-conclusive. On the plus side, however, there are some wonderful descriptions of the loch and countryside and the writing was quite atmospheric. A well written and slow burning psychological thriller centring on the intricacies of friendship.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Failes

    📚 Book Review 📚 PUBLICATION DAY!!!!!!! #downbythewater 🌟🌟🌟🌟 I read this whole book in one sitting as I could just not put it down at all! Old university friends go away for a fun hen weekend that goes from disaster to danger. Lies and deceit and secrets are uncovered and it’s unclear whether everything will work out ok in the end so you keep those pages turning with excitement and trepidation as to what’s going to happen next! There is drama, backstabbing, mystery, lies…all the things we need to mak 📚 Book Review 📚 PUBLICATION DAY!!!!!!! #downbythewater 🌟🌟🌟🌟 I read this whole book in one sitting as I could just not put it down at all! Old university friends go away for a fun hen weekend that goes from disaster to danger. Lies and deceit and secrets are uncovered and it’s unclear whether everything will work out ok in the end so you keep those pages turning with excitement and trepidation as to what’s going to happen next! There is drama, backstabbing, mystery, lies…all the things we need to make a book take hold of you ! Loved it!!! It’s publication day today so you can get your copy NOW!!!! #bookblog #bookreadersofinstagram #bookcommunity #bookreview #bookaddict #bookworm #booksbooksbooks #nursesthatread #scottishreader #bookmail #bookgeek #bookreviewer #bookreviewersofinstagram #bookobsessed #scottishbookstagrammer #bookaholic #whatiread #readerssupportingauthors #pageturners #booklife #bloggergirl #themagicofbooks #bookwormsunited #readinggoals #newreleasebooks #bookobsessed #bookishcommunity #bookaddicted #freebookreviews #fortheloveofliterature

  27. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I struggled at the beginning of this book. I found the characters overly pretentious, quibbling about trivial matters and it took me a while to figure out who was who. However, the unexpected appearance in a photo added a frisson of excitement, and from there the story shifted up a gear. The author writes well, with some memorable lines: She clutched her head as if she could pull out the narcotics and separate their influence from reality. In the morning light, she'd had those foggy hallucinations t I struggled at the beginning of this book. I found the characters overly pretentious, quibbling about trivial matters and it took me a while to figure out who was who. However, the unexpected appearance in a photo added a frisson of excitement, and from there the story shifted up a gear. The author writes well, with some memorable lines: She clutched her head as if she could pull out the narcotics and separate their influence from reality. In the morning light, she'd had those foggy hallucinations that come in half-sleep: blurred creatures crawling along the vessels of her brain. My regrets are the shape of human organs, pulpy and crimson, red and wet and menacing. All in all, a solid read with a creeping sense of menace that drew me in after a shaky start. My thanks to TBC (The Book Club), NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy. All views expressed are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    E Dod

    A really great, atmospheric read. Lots of lies and thrills going on in this novel. I devoured this extremely quickly as I could not get enough, and just wanted to know what was happening. Seven friends, meet for one of their friends wedding, Georgie and they decide (as you do nowadays) to pose for a photo in front of the nearby Loch, which is eerie in itself. They do the photo and when they look back at it, its scary for them as they see a young boy who appears to be in the water. The friends are A really great, atmospheric read. Lots of lies and thrills going on in this novel. I devoured this extremely quickly as I could not get enough, and just wanted to know what was happening. Seven friends, meet for one of their friends wedding, Georgie and they decide (as you do nowadays) to pose for a photo in front of the nearby Loch, which is eerie in itself. They do the photo and when they look back at it, its scary for them as they see a young boy who appears to be in the water. The friends are baffled by this event and decide to look for him but can not locate him. This is the main basis of the novel as lots of scary things start to happen to these unlucky seven. Their planned perfect getaway turns into an absolute horrendous nightmare. Such a great read, I did get lost with the many characters but quickly picked them up as you get into the novel. Thanks to NetGalley, Elle Connel and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Queenbeesbookhive

    🐝✿☆𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐬𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐡𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰☆✿🐝 ꧁☬𝑻𝒊𝒕𝒍𝒆: 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝑩𝒚 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝑨𝒖𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒓: 𝑬𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒍 𝑹𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈: 🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝/5 ☬꧂ 𝐌𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 Wow, a five star thriller which had me instantly hooked ! The author writes in a fabulous, descriptive way with up-to-date phrasing and In turn made the premise an easy to follow theme. I loved meeting all the characters who each had their own backstory helping us, the reader to make up our own mind whether they were likeable or not. Right from the beginning I had that uneasy but effervescent fe 🐝✿☆𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐬𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐡𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰☆✿🐝 ꧁☬𝑻𝒊𝒕𝒍𝒆: 𝑫𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝑩𝒚 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝑨𝒖𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒓: 𝑬𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒍 𝑹𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈: 🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝/5 ☬꧂ 𝐌𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 Wow, a five star thriller which had me instantly hooked ! The author writes in a fabulous, descriptive way with up-to-date phrasing and In turn made the premise an easy to follow theme. I loved meeting all the characters who each had their own backstory helping us, the reader to make up our own mind whether they were likeable or not. Right from the beginning I had that uneasy but effervescent feeling of something bubbling under the surface just waiting to rear it’s ugly head and I certainly wasn’t left disappointed! So many twists and turns to devour in every sitting. This clever, tense thriller reveals the truth and lies that the “once best friends” didn’t know about each other highlighting the hidden realisation that maybe they just don’t know each other at all ?? An absolute gem of a book! and a highly recommended atmospheric page turner.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    A group of former university friends meet up to spend an indulgent drug fueled, champagne quaffing hen party weekend in a remote castle in Scotland. This most unpleasant bunch of women consists of bride to be Georgia, bridesmaids to be Melissa, Alice (Plus wife) Bea and Harriet as well as Tess, the organiser from whose point of view much of the unfolding drama is told. in true suspense\revenge thriller style, the remote location, the creepy loch, the strange and possibly haunted castle, the myst A group of former university friends meet up to spend an indulgent drug fueled, champagne quaffing hen party weekend in a remote castle in Scotland. This most unpleasant bunch of women consists of bride to be Georgia, bridesmaids to be Melissa, Alice (Plus wife) Bea and Harriet as well as Tess, the organiser from whose point of view much of the unfolding drama is told. in true suspense\revenge thriller style, the remote location, the creepy loch, the strange and possibly haunted castle, the mysterious disappearances of food and drink and other assorted menacing events, all counterpoint the constant bickering and nastiness that undermines the friendship group. The mystery itself makes for compelling reading though it was not resolved to my satisfaction. There were many highpoints in the style and the flawed characters were skilfully portrayed.

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