'Superb' Alison Weir, bestselling author of The Captive Queen
When the village of Priors Bramley was shut off in the 1950s so that the area could be used for chemical weapons-testing during the Cold War, a long history of dark secrets was also closed off to the outside world. Now, sixty years later, the village has been declared safe again, but there are those living in nearby Bramley who would much rather that the past remain hidden.
When the village is reopened, Ella Haywood, who used to play there as a child, is haunted by the discovery of two bodies. Shortly before the isolation of the village, she and her two oldest friends had a violent and terrifying encounter with a stranger - with terrible consequences. They made a pact of silence at the time, but the past has a habit of forcing the truth to the surface.
With the mystery surrounding the now derelict Cadence Manor drawing increasing local interest, Ella finds that she will have to resort to ever more drastic measures if she is to make sure that no onediscovers what really happened all those years ago.
'Rayne handles a complicated story with many skeins very cleverly. A top psychological thriller' Good Reading magazine
Rayne (Ghost Song) grips the reader from the opening sentence: "Ella Haywood was in the delicatessen counter queue at the supermarket when she heard the news that ripped open her life and brought her childhood nightmares gibbering back." More than 50 years in the past, Ella and her friends Clementine Poulter and Veronica Campion dared each other to enter the cordoned-off village of Priors Bramley, which was to be the subject of a government experiment to test a new chemical compound, Geranos. While in the village, and with the clock counting down to the dropping of Geranos from a plane, the trio encountered a strangely disfigured man, whom they end up pushing to his death out of fear. The so-called Poisoned Village is finally being reopened, leading to Ella's fears that her past misdeeds will be uncovered. But beyond the familiar storyline, Rayne adds flashbacks to 1912, providing a back story that eventually links up with the main one, and, in the process, creates a truly memorable and scary villain.