review by Maryom
Tyler's Gran had always intended to retire with her sister, Belle, to a cottage by the sea but a few months after moving in she died in an accident. Now Tyler and Aunt Belle are living there, sorting through things before the house is put up for sale. Despite the cottage's idyllic location it isn't a pleasant welcoming place - particularly Tyler's bedroom. It's cold and chilly, and something shadowy seems to be lurking on the chair in the corner....Tyler has had experience with ghosts before and feels sure that one is trying to contact her. Maybe it's her Gran trying to tell her something; maybe it's a far more sinister presence.
I happened across Secret of the Shadows, by accident rather than design, at the library and as I'd been talking to Cathy MacPhail on Twitter I decided to have a read.
Secret of the Shadows is a gripping supernatural story that will definitely have the reader wondering what might be lurking in the shadows of their room! It may be a children's book but I actually I found it scarier than some adult books I've read. It managed to play on one of my fears - what might be lying waiting for us in impenetrable darkness. Cathy MacPhail has a real knack of increasing the tension and spookiness. There are sudden temperature drops, doors that close on their own and the ever present dark shadow on the chair.... Tyler fortunately is made of sterner stuff than I am and is ready to brave down the ghostly presence.
A comment about labels and covers - I found Secret of the Shadows in the Teen section of our library and I had been going to make a comment about the cover which I feel is rather 'young' for such readers. Then when checking things out for this post, I discovered that the publishers have it listed as a 9-11 read - for which the cover seems perfectly appropriate. Why my local library has it under the older age group, I don't know!
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Genre - ghost stories, 9-11,