29 March 2019


  • this edition published by Michael Joseph 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-7181-7928-1
  • 438 pages
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

Fans of Kate Mosse and Kate Morton will love this haunting novel about two women separated by decades, but entwined by fate.

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton whose only traces remain in a few tantalisingly blurred photographs.

Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?

As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph - and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth's . . .

My Take

This novel, Riordan's debut title, is mystery rather crime fiction.

The novel is the story of two women, separated by nearly four decades of time. Alice Eveleigh has come to Fiercombe Manor to hide a pregnancy, while Elizabeth Stanton was desperate to to produce a son for her mercurial husband.

Alice has seen a photograph of Elizabeth and is consumed by a desire to know what eventually happened to her. The housekeeper at the manor knows the full story but everytime Alice asks Mrs Jelphs clams up.

The story is told through their two voices.

There is a very Gothic feel to the novel, and the story was well told.
I'm sure I will be looking for another by this author.

My rating: 4.5

About the author
Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in Londons premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors.

Fiercombe Manor (2015)
     aka The Girl in the Photograph
The Red Letter (2016)
The Shadow Hour (2016)
The Stranger (2018)
Birdcage Walk (2019)
The Heatwave (2020)

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