Sunday, 3 December 2017

Book Review - Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor

Amazon UK
Title: Her Frozen Heart
Author: Lulu Taylor
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 30th November 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

Caitlyn, there’s something I have to tell you. About Sara.

Caitlyn thinks her marriage to Patrick is a success. For one thing, he is one of the few people not to fall head over heels for her beautiful friend, Sara. Life is lived on his terms, but they are happy.

Aren’t they?

When a devastating accident turns her existence upside down, Caitlyn is forced to reassess everything she thought about her marriage, what she truly knows about Patrick, and his real feelings for her best friend. In the refuge of an old manor house, she begins to discover the truth.

In 1947, the worst winter in decades hits England, cutting off entirely the inhabitants of Kings Harcourt Manor. For Tommy Carter, widowed at the start of war, it is particularly hard: the burden of the family falls on her. She has the solace of her children, and the interesting presence of her brother’s friend, Fred. But there is also Barbara, a mysterious figure from her past who appears to want a piece of Tommy’s future as well.

Her Frozen Heart is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose.

This was a slow burner for me, it took absolutely ages for it to start getting under my skin, and once I was fully interested, it still didn't really hook me, although the lead up to the finale in both storylines was very good and I did care what happened to the characters. 

This is a dual timeline story - every other chapter we are treated to 1947, and the story of Tommy and her family who after surviving World War Two now have another massive challenge to deal with - the worst winter for decades, with them being rather cut off in their manor house. 

I'm not really a fan of anything set historically but I found myself far more interested in this story than the contemporary one, and I was continually wondering how Tommy's family were coping, while reading Caitlyn's sections.  Caitlyn is recently widowed, suspects her husband was about to reveal something critical just before his death, and discovers that her best friend isn't all that she seems either. 

With both stories I could see parallels at all points, with the sets of characters, and their circumstances, despite the 70 year gap between them.  However it took about half a book to see where the stories could converge and why they were both present. 

There are mysteries in both halves of the story but they didn't grip me. What did grip me were the descriptions of life during the freezing cold of 1947, and just how tough life must have been, while at the same time , there were assorted sub plots going on, and the introduction of Barbara really shook things up. 

I did find though that following two  complete stories I was starting to get confused with the sheer quantity of characters as to who was relate to who and what their purposes were.  

Plenty of misdemeanours and secrets to discover, and plenty of story line. I liked the writing, I just didn't feel that this was Lulu Taylor's best book, but it did have lots to enjoy about it, especially if you are more of a fan of dual timeline stories than I am. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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