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Delighted with my first 5* review!

So delighted, in fact, that I’ve decided to reproduce it here for everyone to read.

***** Amazon review

Rural France has long been an inspiration for writers. Flaubert’s MADAME BOVARY originated in Normandy. Simenon set much of his Maigret series of detective novels in the seedy underbelly of Paris but his stories acquired a whole new perspective when they transferred to the countryside. More recently, Joanne Harris gave us a taste of what goes on beyond the confines of the capital in CHOCOLAT and its sequels, THE LOLLIPOP SHOES and PEACHES FOR MONSIEUR LE CURE. These novels are generally held to show there is a darker side to life in the French provinces but in her debut novel, Maggie Cobbett takes that one step further as SHADOWS OF THE PAST explores it to the full.
We know right from the start that there’s something nasty in the woodshed – the dramatic prologue tells us to expect it. So when Laura Fitzgerald sets out on what she hopes is a pleasant and informative tour of France in her new Triumph Spitfire we know she’s heading for trouble. We’re soon introduced to the families Binard and Gaudet and the questions begin to rack up – who’s hiding what from whom and why? And when young Daisy and her friends arrive on the scene, we fear for them and the story starts to crackle with an underlying tension. If you go down in the woods today…
After setting out the scene in the first half of the book, things quickly gather pace as the secrets begin to tumble out in the second. Someone is going to die – but who will it be? Daisy? Her friends? Or will it be Laura herself who fails to survive and escape the retentive clutches of Saint-André-la-Forêt? But as compelling as this mystery may at first appear, SHADOWS OF THE PAST is more than just a thriller – it’s also a social history of provincial France for the fifty year period beginning just before World War Two. Unlike the countryside in which it’s set, the book is densely populated with a myriad of interesting characters, each of whom has an agenda of their own – some of which are not entirely pleasant.


2 August, 2015 - Make the first comment on this story

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Supporting artists, or ‘extras’ as they’re more commonly known, are the unsung heroes of television and film. Maggie Cobbett recalls the ups and downs of twenty years of ‘blending into the background’.
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