One of the pleasures of this dark teenage novel is the way it slowly gives up its secrets. Summarising the plot quickly risks spoiling some of this, but suffice to say this is a triple narrative.
One strand is about Rebecca, an unhappy 16-year-old who comes reluctantly from London to live in the seaside village of Winterfold, trailing clouds of pain, a broken romance and a public disgrace involving her father.
The second strand is the narrative of a strange young outsider she meets, who is clever, mysterious and determined to befriend her.
The third is the confessions of an 18th century rector, who has visions of hell and a devilish involvement with the new master of Winterfold Hall.
The voices of modern teenagers and of a man of the cloth in the 1700s are equally convincing, as these contrasting narratives converge in an ingenious story full of tension, twists and horror. Reading it is like agreeing to a dare, compelling you to keep going into a frightening unknown.
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