Summer's Shadow

Publisher: Macmillan

Review

Summer suspects she's the victim of a prank call when her mobile rings in the middle of the night only for a faint but familiar voice to tell her goodbye. It can't be her mother - she's on a ventilator in a hospital after a terrible accident, but the next morning she learns her mum died in the night and she's being sent to live with relatives she's never met in Cornwall.

Coming to terms with her grief and adjusting to a new life on what seems like the edge of the world would be difficult enough but Summer's new family are secretive and suspicious. 'Uncle' Tristan avoids her questions while new cousin Kenen is surprisingly cold and cruel in equal measure. Exploring the grounds of her creepy new home offers up more mysteries, as voices that can't be traced echo through the corridors and impossible visions of her mum catch her eye. Driven to the solace of a seemingly private beach she finds comfort in the arms of a local boy whose has ideas of his own about how to handle being haunted.

The sumptuous setting makes for a perfect summer read - the gentle introduction of a romance will keep young teen readers engaged and the spooky set-up is atmospheric with some chilling moments. Summer's story is fraught with emotion and the intensity of the feud with Kenen strays into dangerous and foolish territory. The big reveal may not be a complete surprise but there is enough (inexplicable) drama to keep the reader's attention from trying to solve the mystery too early.

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