The Lost Notebook by Louise Douglas
A notebook full of secrets, two untimely deaths – something sinister is stirring in the perfect seaside town of Morranez…
It’s summer and holidaymakers are flocking to the idyllic Brittany coast. But when first an old traveller woman dies in suspicious circumstances, and then a campaign of hate seemingly drives another victim to take his own life, events take a very dark turn.
Mila Shepherd has come to France to look after her niece, Ani, following the accident in which both Ani’s parents were lost at sea. Mila has moved into their family holiday home, as well as taken her sister Sophie’s place in an agency which specialises in tracking down missing people, until new recruit Carter Jackson starts.
It’s clear that malevolent forces are at work in Morranez, but the local police are choosing to look the other way. Only Mila and Carter can uncover the truth about what’s really going on in this beautiful, but mysterious place before anyone else suffers. But someone is desperate to protect a terrible truth, at any cost…
This book is a gripping mystery with lots going on and a cast of strong characters. I loved the location, that for me, really added to the foundations of the story. Set on the wild Breton coast, the landscape, the sea, the ancient dolmen and over a thousand years of history, all have a part to play.
Mila was an interesting character to get to know. She was unpredictable, a bit reserved and not sure whether she belonged in France with her family or in the UK, where her life had been settled and routine before she found herself looking after her niece in France. I could feel her loneliness, not only because she was away from her partner, but also because it seemed she was the only one who believed that the strange goings on in Morranez were not quite as they first seemed. This did however give her the determined drive she needed not to give up – on the situation but also on Ani, who was vulnerable and at a difficult age, but an easy character to warm to. I could feel the grief that Ani and Mila were experiencing, trying to come to terms with loosing Ani’s parents, and a really special part of the book for me was the conversations between Mila and Sophie.
With so much going on, I tried hard to guess the connections between the different characters, locations and situations. As the book progressed and the plot evolved, I was totally gripped, had no idea who to trust, and despite a long list of suspects didn’t fully work things out for myself.
If you enjoy unravelling mysteries or books set in Brittany, I’m sure you will love The Lost Notebook.
Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author and an RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country.
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