Bang. Bang. Bang. I jump as the knocks on the window crash above the roaring wind outside. Who could it be, at this late hour? I open the curtains and peer outside. ‘Hello?’ But the dark, the rain and the empty lane are all I see.
It’s been eleven years since I last saw Jonah, after his brother died that stormy summer night. And now, without warning, he’s back, living in his old house next door just like old times, on the remote Scottish island that is home. Where I used to imagine we’d stay, together, forever, sharing our lives and our secrets as we always had. But that was before.
Jonah’s not the sweet boy I once knew. His mood is changeable, his behaviour unstable, our brief conversations are forced and awkward. And then the knocks on my window begin. It can only be him, but why, and what does he want? I used to love him. Now I don’t even want to invite him in.
Because after all these years, I see our childhood secrets, the ones we swore never to reveal, in a newly terrifying light. Was his brother’s death truly an accident? Could Jonah’s secrets have been worth killing for? And how safe am I now, on this isolated island, with the man I used to love…?
A totally addictive and twisty psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist. Anyone who loves The Woman in the Window, The Wife Between Us and The Housemaid won’t beable to put Childhood Sweetheart down!
Wendy Clarke was a teacher until the small primary school where she worked closed down. Now she is a writer of psychological suspense but is also well known for her short stories and serials which regularly appear in national women’s magazines.
Wendy has two children and three step-children and lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex. When not writing, she is usually indulging in her passion for dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!
Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Wendy Clarke
You can sign up for all the best Bookouture deals you’ll love
My thoughts: this is a very clever book, until the twist is revealed and then it’s also very, very shocking. And then there’s some more twists that put a completely different light on events. Ailsa is an incredibly brave woman and a devoted mum, she risks her life to protect Kyle, her autistic son. Even though the person she’s protecting him from is her childhood best friend and first love, Jonah. Or is he? What really happened that night on the Loch and where did Jonah and Callum’s dad really go?
Ailsa doesn’t necessarily want all the answers but then she realises she needs them to ensure Kyle doesn’t lose his home. And she has some reckoning of her own to do too. Moira might have taken them in, but she was keeping secrets too.
Dark and creepy, this is one of those books that makes your eyes widen as it slowly unfolds and the stories people tell themselves and others unravel.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.