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Beneath the shadows / Sara Foster.

By: Foster, Sara.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Sydney, N.S.W. : Bantam, 2011Description: 342 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781741668711 (pbk.).Subject(s): Missing persons -- Fiction | North Yorkshire (England) -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction)DDC classification: A823.4 Summary: When Grace's husband, Adam, inherits a cottage on the North Yorkshire moors, they leave London behind to try a new life. But a week later Adam vanishes, leaving their baby daughter on the doorstep. The following year Grace returns to the tiny village of Roseby. She is desperate for answers but it seems the village is unwillling to give up its secrets.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

When Grace's husband, Adam, inherits a cottage on the Yorkshire moors, they leave London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam disappears. The following year, Grace returns with her baby daughter, Millie . She is desperate for answers, but resigned to preparing the cottage for sale. With no-one prepared to divulge their secrets, Grace finds herself unwilling to trust anyone. Then, just as snowfall threatens to cut her off from the rest of the world, she makes a terrible discovery. In the aftermath, she realises that she has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along. In the wild winter weather she sets out to reclaim her daughter from the one person seemingly intent on taking Millie away, praying that she will reach them in time. .

"How do you begin to move on if the past won't let you go?''--Cover.

Includes book club notes (p.339-340).

When Grace's husband, Adam, inherits a cottage on the North Yorkshire moors, they leave London behind to try a new life. But a week later Adam vanishes, leaving their baby daughter on the doorstep. The following year Grace returns to the tiny village of Roseby. She is desperate for answers but it seems the village is unwillling to give up its secrets.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

1     They should be home. The thought scratched at Grace's mind as she peered out of a narrow upstairs window. The sun had long since been banished behind a blanket of thick grey cloud. In front of her, the wild moorland rolled away to be absorbed by the gloom of twilight. Grace turned and trailed through the cottage, flicking at wall switches, shaking the shadows from their slumbers and driving them out. She moved as though in a trance, the surroundings still surreal to her, although it had been over a week since they had moved in. The upstairs corridor was poky, and the ceiling so low that she had spent the last few days watching Adam stooping under the beams. The staircase was steep, the wood beneath the carpet uneven, so it was better to tread on the outer edges of each step rather than stumble into the indentations of myriad footsteps gone before. She made her careful way downstairs, through the small living room that was littered with packing boxes, and headed into the kitchen, moving again to a window, unable to stop herself from looking out across the sloping moors towards the distant road that wound in and out of sight. A few trees were silhouetted on the horizon, their brittle skeletons bent from regular lashings by the coastal winds. The view before her was utterly still. She took a deep breath, trying to quell the worry that was winding her nerves into knots. Adam's note had unsettled her. " Won't be long. I have to talk to you when I get back, don't go anywhere. A x " Back in the lounge, Grace threw herself into an armchair, one hand brushing over the raked leather where a long-dead cat had once regularly sharpened its claws. She looked around the cottage-- their cottage, though it was nearly impossible to think of it that way. "It's an incredible gift," she could still hear Adam enthusing, over and over, when they had first found out his grandparents had bequeathed Hawthorn Cottage to him. "It's like fate is giving us a bloody great shove in the back. Our own place, no mortgage, away from the rat race, a chance for Millie to start life among nature rather than believing that trees grow through cracks in the pavement. Come on, Gracie, let's give it a go." At that point Grace had been overwhelmed by pads and pumps and nappies, and had somehow found herself agreeing with every point he made. Adam was right. Who wanted red-top buses flying past their London flat at all hours; noise, lights, people everywhere? This way they could escape their financial pressures for a while. She didn't want to leave Millie while she was tiny, and go back to her marketing job, with its meager wage and demanding retail clients. It wasn't her vocation, and to satisfy her demanding boss she often had to stay long after office hours were over. They couldn't avoid the fact that their priorities were changing. Adam and Grace had begun their relationship to a backdrop of fine restaurants and raucous weekends away with friends. Now, in their thirties, most people they knew had children, their social life had dwindled, and they wouldn't be the first ones to make the move out of the city. Grace began to imagine the possibilities that the cottage in North Yorkshire would present: the chance to cook proper meals for a change, taking Millie for long country walks in the fresh air, and snuggling up to Adam in the evenings. She wouldn't have to give up anything either--she could take the maximum maternity leave she was allowed while they gave it a try. To top it off, they'd be free of the extortionate repayments on their tiny two-bedroom flat; so instead of struggling, they might even save. And, as Adam said, if it didn't work out, they would simply come back. "Six months," she'd agreed. "We'll try it for six months, see how it goes." But as they packed their belongings, and the moving date drew nearer, something had begun to niggle at her. She couldn't put her finger on what it was that woke her in the early hours, well before the baby stirred. Eventually she had dismissed it as understandable nerves at such a big change. And yet, the nagging voice refused to quiet. Now, she picked at the torn leather on the armchair as she thought about their first few days in the cottage. The unsettling silence as she had unpacked boxes. The stillness each time she looked out the window. The black descent of night; and the relentless ticking and chiming of the grandfather clock in the hall. As she sat there, it was hard to imagine the throngs of people and traffic swirling around central London, an endlessly shifting kaleidoscope of color and movement. The last week at the cottage had felt like the longest of Grace's life. The six months she had promised Adam now lay interminably before them. She looked at her watch. Where the hell were they? Adam's car was out the front, so they couldn't have gone far. Just the thought of the two of them made her heart quicken. Since Millie had been born her emotions seemed to bubble fierce and strange beneath her skin, threatening to spill over at any moment. Her mobile rang and she fumbled around for it among the packing debris, snatching at it before it stopped. "Gracie?" "Annabel," she sighed, sitting back down. "You could at least pretend to be pleased to hear from me," her sister grumbled. "Or have you forgotten about me already now you've moved to Timbuktu?" "Sorry, Bel, I'm getting a bit worried about Adam and Millie--they've been out since I got back from town. They should be back by now." Annabel laughed. "Grace, you're such a worry wart. Adam's probably chatting over a fence post somewhere. You know he has to show Millie off to everyone. Stop panicking. Now, tell me when you're coming back--you can't stay a country bumpkin forever. I miss you too much." Grace smiled at that. "You still can't believe that I've moved away, can you? Come and see us, Bel. You never know, you might like it here." "So you're planning on staying then?" "Yes," Grace said, as emphatically as she could manage. She had never felt the need to pretend to Annabel before, but she was determined to give this move a chance. In truth, she missed her sister terribly, knew the feeling was mutual, and was afraid that Annabel would exploit any opportunity she saw to encourage them to come back to London. "Grace? Are you listening to me?" - "Sorry, what were you saying?" Grace replied, tuning back in to the voice on the other end of the line. "I was asking you to tell me just what Yorkshire has that London doesn't?" "Well, fresh air, for a start. And you can move without someone knocking you over and then swearing at you." "Okay, okay," Annabel acquiesced. "Well, at least I don't have to see you and Adam wandering around with soppy grins on your faces quite so often. It can get pretty sickening after a while, you know." Grace ignored the jibe. "Come for a visit, Bel--we've got a pub!" "Hmmm. I guess I might have to if you won't come back. London misses you, though. I miss you." "You shouldn't have helped me pack everything up then." "I know, I'm my own worst enemy." Grace smiled again distractedly as Annabel chattered away, getting up to gaze once more through the kitchen window. All was quiet. She walked slowly to the front of the cottage and glanced out into the dusky garden. There was a dark shape on her doorstep. She couldn't quite see it at this angle, or make out much in the shadows. She frowned, listening to Annabel reporting on her week as she headed to the front door. Once there, she twisted the key in the lock, pulled it open, and stopped in shock. In front of her was Millies pram. She peered inside, to find her ten-week-old daughter fast asleep, her cheeks rosy and cold, her tiny chest rising and falling steadily underneath the tightly tucked woolen coverlet. Grace ran her fingers gently over her daughter's forehead, then glanced around and said, "Adam?" No one answered. She waited, watching her short breaths bursting into the frosty night air. She called a little louder, "Adam, where are you?" Silence. Then she heard a small voice saying. "Grace? Grace? " She looked down absently at the phone in her hand. She lifted it up to hear Annabel's voice, alarmed. "Grace, what's going on?" "I just found Millie asleep in her pram on the front doorstep," Grace said, her confusion growing with every word. "So they're back then. See, I told you it would be fine." Grace stared out into the deepening darkness. "I'm not sure, Annabel. It's only Millie here. There's no sign of Adam." "He must be caught up with something--he'll be there in a second, I'm sure," Annabel reassured her. But he wasn't.   Copyright (c) 2011 by Sara Foster Excerpted from Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Grace decides to return to the remote Yorkshire village where her husband, Adam, disappeared the previous year, determined to find answers. She can't believe Adam would walk out on her and their infant daughter, Millie. Perhaps there are clues hidden in their quaint cottage, amid the boxes of stuff left from Adam's grandparents. Or maybe the neighbors know something they aren't saying. As Grace investigates, her friends and family worry about her mental health and physical well-being, especially as she becomes entangled in a local family's domestic issues. Life in a small village turns out to be more complicated than she had expected. Verdict Advertised as a gothic thriller, this series debut fails to create a creepy atmosphere or much of a suspenseful mystery. It is much better at showing a woman on the edge, as she stumbles her way to the truth. Readers appreciating a touch of gothic mystery to their suspense fiction may enjoy Grace's story.-Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

The North Yorkshire moors provide the atmospheric backdrop for Australian author Foster's otherwise unremarkable debut, a suspense thriller. One day after Londoner Adam Lockwood moves with his family into Hawthorn Cottage, a house he inherits in the village of Roseby, he disappears after taking a walk with his baby daughter, Millie. The police suspect that he's abandoned his family, but his wife, Grace, is convinced that Adam would never have left willingly. After spending a year with her parents in France, Grace returns to Roseby in search of answers. The tight-knit community makes little effort to welcome her, though the town matriarch, Meredith Blakeney, is unusually interested in Hawthorn Cottage. Grace strikes up a friendship with Ben, another apparent outcast in Roseby, who offers to help her with renovations, while she sifts through years of secrets squirreled away in the cottage and the village itself. Foster nicely evokes the isolation of the moors, but the less than surprising reveal behind Adam's vanishing act fails to satisfy. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

A young woman returns to the Yorkshire moors in hopes of discovering what happened to her missing husband. Grace and Adam gave up their busy London lifestyle to move with their baby daughter, Millie, to Hawthorn Cottage, Adam's deceased grandparents' home in a remote moorlands village. They hardly had time to unpack before Adam went missing. Millie, in her pram, was left on the doorstep, but despite a massive search, Adam was never found, and the police suspected he might have done a runner. A year later, Grace returns, determined to find out the truth. Village doyen Meredith, a recent widow who supported Grace until her parents arrived, helps her to ease back into village life. Meredith has a large family, and her girls all spent time with Adam back when he was a young man living with his grandparents. When an estate agent suggests that Grace could rent out the cottage for good money if it were renovated, she finds Ben, a housesitting architect looking for a project. And Grace's sister Annabel, a journalist who wants Grace to leave as soon as possible, arrives to help go through stacks of boxes in the attic and cellar. Grace's search of the boxes reveals several things she didn't know about Adam's past life, and her interactions with Meredith's family reveal even more. Picking through the detritus of the past leads to a shocking discovery that will help solve the mystery of Adam's disappearance. Foster's second (Come Back to Me, 2010) page-turning tale of suspense set on the snow-covered moors has something for everyone: mystery, romance, paranormal activity and mortal danger. ]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.