Crikey The Girl from Widow Hills is creepy, claustrophobic and clever. And double crikey – there is a twist that I just didn’t see coming. Although I had a few suspicions (which turned out to be way off the mark) right until the last page or so I didn’t have a clue how this story would end. Now that I do, it truly gives me the shivers.
The Girl from Widow Hills is the latest thriller from bestselling author Megan Miranda whose previous novel The Last House Guest was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
Published on 2nd July in hardback, Olivia is the girl from Widow Hills. Yet she was once known as Arden who was six years old when she was swept away whilst sleepwalking in a freak storm. Miraculously as the community of Widow Hills came together to search for Arden, she was found alive days later clinging to a storm drain.
With all the media attention and her mother writing a book about the horrifying experience, fame followed Arden. But with fame came the fans, stalkers and trolls. They all wanted a piece of her. So as soon as she was old enough she left town and changed her name – leaving Arden and Widow Hills behind.
Twenty years on Olivia lives hundreds of miles away – no one knows she is the miracle girl from Widow Hills – just the way she wants it. Yet with the anniversary of the rescue approaching, her sleepwalking returns. Then one night she wakes up in her garden after sleepwalking with a dead man at her feet. The man has been murdered.
As Olivia fights to convince everyone of her innocence – including herself – she increasingly finds her past closing in on her.
This is a taut thriller that had me guessing throughout. I didn’t trust any of the characters, but as I say, I truly didn’t see the end coming. Reflecting back on the evolution of this twisting narrative, Megan Miranda skilfully places plot clues throughout. Yet in my view, as the clues were so strategically positioned, I didn’t pick up on them.
Adding to the unnerving tension is the skilful structure of the narrative. Written in first person with tight sentence structure and short chapters, this enhances the claustrophobia of the story. Furthermore Megan Miranda interweaves Olivia’s present life with snapshot highlights of her rescue twenty years previously.
On a personal level this novel made me feel very uncomfortable too as it explores sleepwalking. As I have been known to sleepwalk in my time, including sleepwalking as a child, reading this novel really gave me the shivers. Fortunately my sleepwalking antics have led more to comedy stories which my family and I have a good laugh at now – but I did give my Mum a bit of a time as a child, sometimes getting ready for school in the middle of the night whilst fully asleep. But through my personal experience I could really see how realistic and plausible this story was. That truly freaked me out.
The Girl from Widow Hills is available now for you to read. You can also read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour of this chilling thriller (please see below).
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to part of the blog tour to help publicise the UK publication of The Girl from Widow Hills.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂