The Retreat by Mark Edwards

Eerie as hell!

The Retreat by Mark Edwards

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Published: 10th May, 2018
Series: N/A
Rating: 5

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.
Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.
Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.
When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

When it comes to suspense, Mark Edwards is one of my go-to guys. He just gets it, you know, like he can see into your soul.


Lucas, who is basically a one-hit-wonder horror writer struggles with his writer’s block, and decides it’s time to return to his roots, a tiny town in Wales for inspiration. His first successful book, Sweetmeat is a horror story about a monster who takes children to the woods and eats their soul. Considering how Julia lost her daughter, it’s not a surprise that she doesn’t warm up to our guy immediately. Lucas on the other hand is mesmerized by Julia’s sad beauty and feels like a knight in shining armor, rescuing a damsel in distress when he takes it upon himself to look into Lily’s disappearance. You know, just to make sure the police did their job properly, cuz you obviously can’t trust these country folks to do anything right. That’s Julia’s opinion, but Lucas is too curious, so it’s as good an excuse as it gets. Of course he finds way more than what he bargained for, and might just uncovered a dangerous secret.

Meanwhile, weird shit starts happening in the house where Lucas resides alongside three other writers: Karen, author of kinky urban fantasy, Max, a stuck up literary fiction writer and Suzi, a sort of protege of Max. Or mistress. It’s not clear. Ghostly singing, scraping noises and disappearing items are only few of the things that freak the guests out, to the point where Kinky Karen leaves, only to be replaced by Ursula, who is the sort of person who has a spirit guide and talks to ghosts. Allegedly.

The mystery is pretty solid, and by the time Lucas is through, everyone and their mother are suspicious as fuck. The place is literally one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone, and even though Lucas doesn’t remember most of them, the older town folks still remember his parents very well. I could just see the conspiratory looks passing between them… So creepy!

What are these people hiding? Who is the mysterious Red Widow, who takes children every 35 years?

Guys, this is the perfect spooky read for Autumn! Fast paced, gripping, and the sort of dark story that makes you want to burrow deeper into your blankie nest. Even though it’s a standalone, all the references the author makes to his previous books are just too cool to miss, so if you have time, check those out too. You won’t regret it.



  1. Arghhhh! No! No! I cannot for the love of sanity buy another book. *sigh* Okay, I’ve added to this one to my To Buy list because … because it sounds like a chillingly good read for October! Bad Norrie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ohmygod, how do you make every book sound so darn good?! 😀 I really want to read this one too now.. because the mystery and the setting and the authors in a house and that big secret! Like… whoaaa… bring it on! 🙂 Fantastic review!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved reading your review, Norrie. It reminded me why I enjoyed this book so much! I also liked the creepy vybe around the house and the town. I hope that you will also enjoy In Her Shadow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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