A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against the lush backdrop of Provence
Meeting Dom was the most incredible thing that had ever happened to me. When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom in Switzerland, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genévriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the South of France. Each enchanting day delivers happy discoveries: hidden chambers, secret vaults, a beautiful wrought-iron lantern. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive.
But with autumn’s arrival the days begin to cool, and so, too, does Dom. Though Eve knows he bears the emotional scars of a failed marriage—one he refuses to talk about—his silence arouses suspicion and uncertainty. The more reticent Dom is to explain, the more Eve becomes obsessed with finding answers—and with unraveling the mystery of his absent, beautiful ex-wife, Rachel.
Like its owner, Les Genévriers is also changing. Bright, warm rooms have turned cold and uninviting; shadows now fall unexpectedly; and Eve senses a presence moving through the garden. Is it a ghost from the past or a manifestation of her current troubles with Dom? Can she trust Dom, or could her life be in danger?
Eve does not know that Les Genévriers has been haunted before. Bénédicte Lincel, the house’s former owner, thrived as a young girl within the rich elements of the landscape: the violets hidden in the woodland, the warm wind through the almond trees. She knew the bitter taste of heartbreak and tragedy—long-buried family secrets and evil deeds that, once unearthed, will hold shocking and unexpected consequences for Eve.
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson is a beautifully written and mysterious tale of Eve and Dom, two lovers who move to an old, vacant home in southern France with a mysterious past of its own. Lawrenson’s descriptive prose transports readers to Provence as Eve gradually begins to discover the mysteries of her new home and begins to mistrust her lover who appears to be holding secrets of his former wife and her disappearance. Slow to capture the suspense and mystery surrounding Eve’s new home and lover in the early portion of the novel, Lawrenson sets the reader up for a plot with many twists and surprises that are in store. This is not a criticism, but rather how an exceptional story should unfold and I found it hard to set this one aside to tend to other responsibilities. As readers begin to feel the mysteries are unfolding in a clear manner, Lawrenson crafts an unexpected turn that brilliantly brings the two mysteries together into one. Mystery fans will find The Lantern to be very rewarding and I highly recommend The Lantern to all readers looking for an excellently crafted suspenseful tale.
Deborah Lawrenson grew up in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Singapore. She studied English at Cambridge University and has worked as a journalist for various publications in England, including the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, and Woman’s Journal magazine. She lives in Kent, England, and she and her family spend as much time as possible at a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, the setting for The Lantern.
To learn more about author Deborah Lawrenson, please visit her website: www.deborah-lawrenson.co.uk/
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I received a complimentary ARC of The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.