The Retreat by Mark Edwards
Hoping to get inspiration for his next novel, horror writer Lucas heads to the town where he lived as a young child. He books a stay at a writer's retreat at a creepy home in the woods. He has no idea what he's about to experience.
Julia's daughter vanished two years ago. Her stuffed cat was found floating in the river, so her husband dove in to find the girl, but he drowned. Julia lost her entire family in one tragic afternoon. While everyone says her daughter died, her gut instinct is that the girl is still alive. No one believes her.
Lucas hears Julia's story and starts to wonder what really happened. The more he looks into the case, the weirder things get. He and other writers start hearing voices. They hear people moving around in rooms that are empty. Some even see ghosts wandering in the woods. Lucas and Julia are determined to unravel the mysteries going on in this small town, but someone or something is equally determined to stop them.
The atmosphere created in The Retreat is chilling. I could smell the dampness of the earth and feel the cool air of the woods. The story is equally gripping. For a change, I didn't have the mystery pegged. It was creepy, but not to the point it will keep me up at night.
The writing flows well. It hooked me and never stopped till the last page. And speaking of that ending, I loved it! This is my first novel from Mark Edwards. He reminded me a bit of a local author, Joe Citro, and I'm thrilled to have discovered this book. I'll be finding his other novels soon.