#BlogTour #BookReview - Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark

Devastated by the death of her husband, Annie Philips is shocked to discover she is pregnant with his unborn child. Hoping for a fresh start, she travels to a remote stone cottage in Anglesey, amidst the white-capped mountains of North Wales.

She settles in quickly, helped by her mysterious new neighbour, Peter. But everything changes when Annie discovers a small wooden box, inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl. A box she was never supposed to find…

Annie soon realises that she isn’t alone in the cottage. And now she’s trapped. Can she escape the nightmare that she has awoken, or will the dark forces surrounding the house claim her life – and that of her baby?

A gripping thriller from E. A. Clark, perfect for fans of Kerri Wilkinson, Sarah Wray and Stella Duffy. You won’t be able to put it down!

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Lay Me To Rest by E.A. Clark today, my grateful thanks to the author, publishers and Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my advance copy of the book.
I was really looking forward to Lay Me To Rest after reading the blurb but somehow missed that this is a ghost story as well as a mystery. Thankfully I loved it and read the whole book in less than a day. Opening with a decidedly spooky prologue, this really is a chilling paranormal psychological thriller. When Annie Philips goes to stay in a remote cottage in North Wales she is looking for a relaxing retreat following the devastating death of her husband. She is also six months pregnant and terrified about bringing up a child alone. At first the cottage looks to be the ideal place for her to relax and begin to look forward after suffering such a devastating tragedy. However, before long it seems that somebody really doesn't want Annie there...
As a sceptic about all things supernatural, I had to put my prejudices aside but with such an involving plot that was actually very easy. I was intrigued to discover just what - or who - was creating the terrifying disturbances. Although set in 2009 there's something timeless about Lay Me To Rest; it has  the petrified yet inquisitive protagonist - who may or may not be an unreliable narrator, supporting characters with their own dark secrets, a mysterious box, visits from beyond the grave, and the mild mannered Reverend Evans and his wife, Nia who are called in to perform an exorcism. and who turn out to be a wealth of knowledge on all things paranormal and who facilitate Annie's communication with the spirit world.
The mystery when it is solved isn't altogether surprising but that really didn't matter, it's the engrossing storytelling that pulls the reader in here. If I had to criticise anything it would be the ending which I think may divide opinions. Although I understand the need to set the scene for the next book in the series, it could be argued that there's almost too much of the next story here. Perhaps it would have been better to have finished a bit sooner with just the hint of more to come as I did feel the concluding chapters meant that delicious feeling of unease, where I would have jumped at the slightest noise, faded a little. However, this really is a minor gripe and I am delighted at the prospect of reading a sequel with further ghostly encounters.
Telling ghost stories is a Christmas tradition, and Lay Me To Rest has all the elements of a dark and unnerving tale with its themes of birth and death, past and future, retribution and forgiveness. Curl up on the sofa, light a few candles and enjoy being spooked by this engaging and poignant book this festive season!

Lay Me To Rest is published by HQ Digital and can be purchased here. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

E. A. Clark lives in the Midlands with her husband and son, plus a rather temperamental cat, a rabbit and a chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that …) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions.
She has a penchant for visiting old graveyards and speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal has culminated in her first novel for adults, Lay Me to Rest. The setting is inspired by her love of Wales, owing to her father’s Celtic roots.
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