When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.
But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?
As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:
‘You will be dead by Christmas.’
‘The Fire Child’ Review
When reading The Fire Child, I was gripped right from the start. I loved the setting of the story. A large, mostly abandoned mansion house hidden away amongst the mines in which Rachel’s husband’s ex-wife lies dead opened up so much potential for a great story. The author definitely took advantage of this, creating a tense thriller involving the bottomless mines, the empty house and years of family deceit.
There were moments throughout the story where, when I was reading it at night in the dark, I felt a bit spooked. This was the first sign that I knew this was going to be a great thriller. Jamie, David’s son, has been so scarred by the death of his mother, and some of the things he comes out with are terrifying. He seems to predict events that happen in the near future, and it drives Rachel almost to insanity.
“Some of the revelations are shocking, and for the last quarter of the book, I couldn’t stop reading.”
It comes to a point when Rachel is exploring the basement of the old house, and she is certain that David’s dead ex-wife is right behind her. She can sense her; she can even smell her perfume. Rachel can’t shake this feeling that she is being watched, and then when her step-son tells her that she will be dead by Christmas, she cracks.
The things we learn about the characters – especially David’s family history, and Rachel’s troubled past – explain everything. Some of the revelations are shocking, and for the last quarter of the book, I couldn’t stop reading. There were a few points in the story when I felt like it should move on a bit quicker, but those moments were few and far between.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Fire Child. The characterisations, especially little Jamie, were chilling and well thought out. The setting of the story was great, and it was weird to read about places in Cornwall that I’ve visited. Finally, the suspense was played out really well, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. I recently bought the author’s first book, The Ice Twins, and I hope it’s as good as The Fire Child!
Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. I received this book for free via NetGalley in return for an honest review.