The Cotswolds, 1947
The relentless winter of 1947 holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war…
Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard—for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around.
This story is set post World War Two, Eleanor and a young boy Freddy find a man in a foot of snow - clearly in an agitated state. Seeing him in a troubled state, they decide to bring him home. When he starts to fight them Eleanor gets such a shock when she realises that it is Mathew Croft, a man she knew before the war. They struggle to get him in to the house and once they remove his soaked clothes they realise that he has been attacked. Mathew insists to Eleanor that no one must know where he is and then the mystery unravels.
I enjoyed Lorna Gray's style of writing. She sets the rural scene after the war, very well and we get a sense of how people are getting pieces of their lives back. Eleanor is a strong character, hardened by life but we get to know her as the novel progresses as it is from her point view. The story is slow to begin with but the pace is picked up half way through with a few twists and Eleanor really comes in to her own.
This is a great debut from Lorna Gray. I am looking forward to her next book.