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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - Powerful and gripping - One of the best books I've read this year!
I'm going to admit - I have never read a book by Louise Douglas before. Ever. But this book sounded so intriguing and I was so excited to start it...and let me just say - WOW. Where on earth have I been?! How have I not read any of Louise's other books? In fact, I am SO impressed by this novel that after I have finished writing this, I'm going to order her other books...
Published on 5 Jun. 2013 by Megan ReadingInTheSunshine

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SOME PEOPLE ARE SO THOUGHTLESS,....!!!!!!!
After reading some reviews on here and other reviews for other books I find that after reading them I didn't need to buy the book because people can't just stick to the basics of their reading thoughts of the book.... whilst others write paragraphs after paragraphs which is really not necessary, these long drawn out reviews I don't waste my time because I know the plot...
Published 17 months ago by Linda Lloyd


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - Powerful and gripping - One of the best books I've read this year!, 5 Jun. 2013
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Hardcover)
I'm going to admit - I have never read a book by Louise Douglas before. Ever. But this book sounded so intriguing and I was so excited to start it...and let me just say - WOW. Where on earth have I been?! How have I not read any of Louise's other books? In fact, I am SO impressed by this novel that after I have finished writing this, I'm going to order her other books straight away.

In the present day, Hannah Brown works at a museum, living in a flat with what seems to be an ordinary life. But Hannah Brown has secrets, secrets that include a mental breakdown and memories of a childhood that she would rather forget. As Hannah works on an ordinary day, she catches sight of Ellen Brecht, a girl she has tried so hard to forget...

Ellen was her best friend as a child ever since Ellen and her family moved in to Thornfield House. Ellen is the opposite of Hannah...Ellen is beautiful, fierce and knows exactly what she wants, whereas Hannah is more timid and willing to go along with her friend. But soon their life becomes dark, and filled with obsession, betrayal and lies, resulting in tragedy.

But is this woman really Ellen? And if she has come to find Hannah, what does she want? To forgive her? Or to punish her?

I cannot describe how much I loved this book! In Her Shadow is one of those books that is impossible to put down, so if you're going to read this, make sure you start it on a morning or when you have a bit of a free day as you won't want to be parted from the pages!

The characters, for me, are really what made this book so brilliant. They are all complex characters with their own agendas, thought processes and personalities. Even though the story is told throughout from Hannah's perspective, I didn't feel that I missed out on getting to know any of the other characters...in fact, I felt I knew them almost as well as Hannah - I knew how they'd react to situations, what their thoughts were, I could even hear their own individual `voices' as I read through the chapters.

Hannah is a fantastic character, I warmed to her straight away as we are taken back in time with her through her childhood memories, and then in the next chapter we are in the present day with her and able to see how what has happened in her childhood has affected her. Throughout the book I really got behind her, and I was willing her on to discover the truth about Ellen. I really loved Jago as a character, I felt quite close to him and protective over him, like I would with a brother, and I genuinely cared aboyt his parts and what happened to him throughout. Ellen was fascinating, I could see why Hannah had been so swept up in this friendship that she had with Ellen, and how easily Ellen could lead Hannah and talk her into things. But even though I knew that perhaps sometimes she wasn't acting in the best interests of others, I was drawn to her character and always keen to find out what her next moves would be.

One thing that made the story so gripping was the sinister undertones throughout. In ever chapter there was a sense of darkness and the sense that something might go wrong at any moment. Louise Douglas built the tension effortlessly and I was racing through the pages desperate to know what would happen next. I won't spoil it by saying who but some of the characters were so well crafted that as soon as they appeared in the scene they put me on edge and I read faster at those points because I wanted to know more.

There were a few twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and I finished the story feeling a bit breathles and as though I'd lived a whole other life. As I say, I'm now going to buy Louise's other books!

In Her shadow is captivating, it is compelling and it is powerfully written. Louise Douglas has written a truly fantastic book that will have you racing through the pages, and I would thouroughly recommend this.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadowed by the past, 29 July 2012
By 
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Hardcover)
Another very engrossing read from Louise Douglas - who definitely features highly in my top ten favourite authors as she is so consistent.

This is a subtle and slightly sinister psychological drama written in a dual time frame of present day events and reminiscences of the narrators past.

Told in first person by Hannah who is in her 30s and working in a museum, in her past lies a mental breakdown and a few secrets. She is left shaken and disturbed by suddenly catching glimpses of a friend from her childhood .. who died years before. This sets her off down memory road remembering her own upbringing, with her adopted brother Jago and her best friend Ellen, from a bohemian and musical ubringing - so vibrant and dramatic that Hannah spends her teenage years drawn to her like a moth to a flame, devotedly fond and protective of her friend yet very much "in her shadow".

Gradually past events are brought to life through Hannahs memories although it's told at quite a gentle pace, and is a subtle story where the reader is kept guessing.

In each chapter we are given a little more information about past happenings and left wanting to find out more about How Ellen died, why Hannah is estranged from Jago and what part if any did past events play in Hannahs past mental health problems.

We wonder as does she, whether Hannah is heading for a breakdown again, is she seeing things? perhaps the girl she is seeing is a ghost. When everything is finally revealed it leads to a satisfying and quite unexpected conclusion.

Beautifully written, tense and poignant, highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed her previous novels The Secrets Between Us and who enjoys books like Ninepins and authors like Jojo MoyesMe Before You(less)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it but found myself losing interest just before the reveal., 27 Nov. 2013
By 
Lady C (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Paperback)
I really liked the book and found it a page turner but curiously, well for me anyway, I got kind of tired of the themes - Hannah's jealousy and fascination and love for Ellen and the strange yet seemingly glamorous life of the Brecht Family, contrasting against her own relatively mundane and low key family - just at the moment when I feel I should have been breathless for the big reveal. But by the time I got to the climax chapters at the end I found the story rushed. The author has taken 100s of page to explore the intricacies of complex relationships - that I could really relate to - but only a few very short ones to bring it all to fruition. I felt a bit cheated by what seemed a rushed ending and would have enjoyed it so much more if more of the story had been on the reveal of the 'ghost' of the past and the story of what happened to Ellen - it seemed all a bit implausible like the author had thought it up the moment she came to write it. So for me a gripping story for about three quarters of the book and then it lost me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, 5 Sept. 2013
By 
K. L. Beeden (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Kindle Edition)
In Her Shadow is a story of loyalty and tragedy. The two main characters, Hannah and Ellen, are best friends, but very different. Ellen is glamorous, daring and fierce, whilst Hannah is anything but. As the girls grow older they begin to dip their toes into the world of love, lust and desire. Things soon spiral out of control and their lives are irrevocably changed ... Twenty years later, Hannah is convinced that she has seen Ellen. Is it her memory playing cruel tricks? Or is it really Ellen, and if so, what does she want?

It took me a while to develop a feel for the characters, especially as both Hannah and Ellen are portrayed as having personality traits that make it hard to warm to them. However, once the story really started I loved the relationships and interactions between the girls' and their families, and wanted to know the deep, dark secret that was referred to throughout. Without spoiling it for anyone yet to read, I was satisfied with the story itself, although found the ending slightly abrupt-I would have liked a bit more detail about what happened next as I feel it would have rounded it off more neatly and completely.

My first foray into Louise Douglas's work has certainly made me keen to read more of her books. In Her Shadow is an interesting idea, executed well, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had felt a stronger bond to the main characters, particularly Hannah.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting story of Friendship, 1 Aug. 2012
By 
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Hardcover)
I waited with huge expectation for this book as I was such a fan of The Secrets Between Us and I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed one bit.

Louise has written another gripping book that really takes you on a journey that you are unsure where it will lead you. In Her Shadow starts with Hannah in the present day, she glimpses something that throws her totally off-balance and makes her doubt everything she thinks she knows to be true. The book transports you back to her childhood with her `brother' and best Friend, Ellen. What starts off as a normal childhood changes so dramatically.

Whilst there are lots of `flash backs' and chapters in the past as well as the present day, it is extremely easy to read and understand where you are.

As with Louise's last book, there is a chilling feel to the book and an uncertainty of what will happen next. Beautifully written and powerful descriptive passages. This is really a book that makes you think and whilst you may or may not like the leading characters (I did), I don't think that matters as the whole story will captivate you until you turn to the very last page and a very satisfying ending
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Novel, 10 Mar. 2014
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Kindle Edition)
I have never read a book by Louise Douglas before and wow what a good one to start with! I have been so impressed with her book that now I have bought another one of her books!

Hannah Brown works in a museum in Bristol she has a relatively normal life. She has some secrets and had a mental breakdown a few years ago from something that has stemmed from her past. One day Hannah is having a normal day at work when she spots Ellen Brecht, the girl she tried so hard to forget from her past.

Ellen was Hannah's best friend. Ellen moved into Thornfield House, her grandmothers old house. Ellen and Hannah are completely different, Ellen can be intimidating and Hannah being the quieter of the two accepts her personality. Ellen has a struggle with her family life and Hannah sticks by her. However their lives become twisted with lies, betrayal and tragedy.

So was this Ellen that Hannah saw? What does she want? Hannah wants to get to the bottom of it and will not let it get to her as before.

This book takes your emotions on a range of journeys, it is captivating and from the moment I picked the book up to the moment I put it down I was hooked. It flowed wonderfully and was such an easy read.

The characters in the book are developed well and although this is told by Hannah's point of view, you can connect with all characters on some level.

The book is set into different chapters from Hannah's past and the present day, these link in nicely and I looked forward to reading about Hannah's past. I felt sad for Hannah at times in the book, the way Ellen treated her and her struggle with her own emotions in the book. I felt like I grew up with Hannah too, going from a teenager into an adult and coping with all she had to deal with. Towards the end of the book, I began to feel sad for Ellen and relised that life was not always as it seemed for her.

Louise Douglas knew how to build tension in this book and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. There were twists and turns through out the book and I did not find it predictable at all, which added to my enjoyment of the book. I found the book captivating and would urge others to read it.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me such a fantastic book to review!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, simply stunning!, 13 Sept. 2013
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Paperback)
I purchased this book on impulse one day, at the time I was in two minds whether or not to buy, how glad I am that I went for it!

Oh my, the story is intense, dark, poignant, a little chilling but totally addictive. I finished it a few hours ago and am still feeling very moved by the whole book, the characters and events have really managed to get under my skin, this story will without a doubt stay with me for a very long time. The setting is mainly in a very idyllic rural seaside town in Cornwall, the author describes the locations extremely well. It has a tragic tinge from the start including death, jealousy, betrayal, control issues, mental heath issues and domestic violence but the author leaves you guessing until the very last chapter. When one finally finds out what actually happened between Hannah, Ellen and Jago the last time they all saw one another it is very upsetting. I have been unable to think of much else all day and now I want my nearest and dearest to read the book too so I have people to discuss the story with.

The chapters switch from past to present and although the story is pretty complex it is very easy to follow, there are only a small number of main characters so one gets to know and empathise well with them. On the first read I got through 100 pages and planned to read the lot in two days but my life got busy so it took me almost a week. There are some very disturbing happenings at times which made me reluctant to read this one at night! Incredibly well written, the type of book that really makes you think, I would highly recommend this to anyone. I don't ever consider reading the same book twice because I always have a huge line of new books to get through, but this one is definitely worth another read and someday I'm pretty sure I will.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, mysterious read that draws you in - gripping stuff, 1 Nov. 2013
By 
EllyBlue (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Kindle Edition)
Louise Douglas is an excellent writer. Having enjoyed The Secrets Between Us, I was keen to try this, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I think I liked this even more. Once again set in the West Country, it is a story which interweaves past and present. Haunted in the present by things which happened years earlier, Hannah believes she has see someone her best friend Ellen while she is at work in a museum and yet she knows that it cannot be Ellen. The narrative jumps from present to past with each new chapter, but Louise Douglas is skilfully keeps the plot driving forward and there is never any confusion about the story which contains elements of guilt, betrayal and obsession. There is a cast of believable yet interesting characters, Ellen and her family, Hannah's adopted brother Jago, and Hannah's parents, as well as Hannah's colleagues at the museum. The author is able to build suspense and mystery in a very effective way and the evocative descriptions of Cornwall only added to the mix. The story really draws you in. It's gripping stuff and I found myself looking forward to finishing my work and being able to dive back in.
This is definitely a recommended read - 5 stars from me. I will definitely be looking out for Louise Douglas's next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite author, 11 April 2013
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Paperback)
I really enjoyed The Secrets Between us and this made me seek more of Louise Douglas books.
Louise Douglas has now become my favourite author. I simply just must read all Louise Douglas books. I can not rate her books higher enough. I recommend both of these books for all readers.
In Her Shadow is an expertly written. In Her Shadow is a psychological story that is interwoven through the past and the present day. It is simply unput downable.
In the past after her best friend Ellen Brecht dies Hannah Brown admitted herself to a pychiatric hospital.
While Hannah Brown is working at a museum in Bristol she suddenly sees her dead best friend Ellen Brecht.
Hannah was so shocked that she felt ill seeing her best friend Ellen at the museum and had to be taken home to rest.
Hannah tells the story of the past about her, Ellen and Hannah's brother Jago leading up to the event of how Ellen her best friend died.
In the present day Hannah see's Ellen and hears Ellen's voice whispering in her ear. Has Ellen come back to haunt her best friend Hannah?. This story is full of drama with little twist that make this story a perfect read.
Happy reading to all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this book!, 27 Mar. 2015
This review is from: In Her Shadow (Paperback)
This is the first of Louise Douglas's books that I have read, picked up with a bunch of others for a few pence in a Charity shop! Well, I am glad I didn't miss it. I loved it and read it faster than any book I have read for ages. I will definitely be reading more of hers.
The characters are believable, the descriptions and little details of everything, the garden, the scenery, her thoughts, etc etc.
Please read it!
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In Her Shadow
In Her Shadow by Louise Douglas (Paperback - 1 Aug. 2013)
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