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In Her Shadow

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  654 ratings  ·  80 reviews
What would you do if your past came back to haunt you? A dark, thrilling novel for fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop

From the author of THE SECRETS BETWEEN US, part of the 2012 Richard and Judy Summer Reads, comes this dark, thrilling novel that is perfect for your book group.

It's set twenty years ago against a backdrop of dreamy Cornish summers, a place where
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 2012 by Bantam Press (first published May 8th 2012)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  654 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Like the author's last novel, The Secrets Between Us, this is what I would call - in the nicest way possible, honestly - good quality trash. It is light and easy to read, frequently implausible and silly, but also totally compelling, well-written with plenty of twists, and addictively readable.

Hannah Brown appears to be an unremarkable heroine in every way, except that twenty years earlier, her best friend, Ellen Brecht, drowned at the age of eighteen. This is an incident which Hannah feels a
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Her Shadow is a real page turner. Louise Douglas is one my top favourite authors.
This is the second book that I have read of hers. I will be reading and reviewing all of Louise Douglas books. I honestly recommend all readers to try one of Louise Douglas books.
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to admit – I have never read a book by Louise Douglas before. Ever. But this book sounded so intriguing and I was so excited to start it…and let me just say – WOW. Where on earth have I been?! How have I not read any of Louise’s other books? In fact, I am SO impressed by this novel that after I have finished writing this, I’m going to order her other books straight away.

In the present day, Hannah Brown works at a museum, living in a flat with what seems to be an ordinary life. But
Paula Sealey
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hannah feels she finally has her life sorted, but on a regular day at work in the museum she sees her best friend Ellen. But how can that be when Ellen tragically died as a teenager? Haunted by her image, Hannah fears she is on the verge of another breakdown and begins to revisit events from her past, searching for answers.

The story seamlessly interchanges between Hannah's past and present, treating us to a raft of beautifully crafted characters and relationships. The suspense as the story
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-library
I did like the story, but not the ending. I was heavily disappointed to be honest. Such a sweet ending didn't match the rest of the book. In the beginning the author makes me think Ellen is a untrustworthy, manipulative girl, but as the story develops that image seems to change to the contrary and suddenly everything was Hannah's fault.
Liked the story, but the end left me disappointed.
Natalie Richards
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the first book I`ve read by this author and having heard good things about it I was looking forward to reading it. However I quickly became disappointed with it as it was not as gripping as I thought it would be,in fact it became quite predictable, and I failed to connect with any of the characters. Only stayed with it to see if I was right with the ending; and I was! ...more
Lady Delacour
Interesting story.
It was like eating
a plain hamburger
when I wanted
a cheeseburger.
TTS Listen.
Not Clean.
Foul Language.
Another very engrossing read from Louise Douglas - who definitely features highly in my top ten favourite authors as she is so consistent.

This is a subtle and slightly sinister psychological drama written in a dual time frame of present day events and reminiscences of the narrators past.

Told in first person by Hannah who is in her 30s and working in a museum, in her past lies a mental breakdown and a few secrets. She is left shaken and disturbed by suddenly catching glimpses of a friend from her
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Her Shadow is Louise Douglas' fourth novel and was published by Transworld earlier this month.

This a complex story that draws the reader in from the beginning, I found it very difficult to put down and when I was not reading it, I was thinking about it.

Hannah is a young woman who works at a Bristol museum, from the off it is clear that she has some issues from her past that shape her behaviour. Hannah 'sees' her childhood friend Ellen in the museum, but Ellen died many years ago, so how could
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect this book to be so good. I picked it up at the library the other day and I read more than half of the book that same day. It's a quick read, in general. Perfect for those lonely couple of evenings on which you find yourself with nothing better to do. Once you've started, it's difficult to tear yourself away from it. The characters are interesting and not very predictable. The development of the plot was not what I thought it would be. It was much better. The twists were ...more
Louise Graham
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I waited with huge expectation for this book as I was such a fan of The Secrets Between Us and I can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

Louise has written another gripping book that really takes you on a journey that you are unsure where it will lead you. In Her Shadow starts with Hannah in the present day, she glimpses something that throws her totally off-balance and makes her doubt everything she thinks she knows to be true. The book transports you back to her childhood with her ‘
Mandy Baldwin
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished 'in her Shadow' and loved it! Managed to read the whole book in two days (the housework can wait!) as I wanted to know how the story would end.
The story hooked me from the very start and I enjoyed every page until it's conclusion - a great read.
I have read all the books by Louise Douglas, all are brilliant and I can't wait for the next one.
Lucy McLaurin
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character Hannah was portrayed so innocently and truthfully that I could see her being a kid when I was at school. The parts written by the younger Hannah just read so poetically true to a young child with their thoughts and insecurities and beliefs. Likewise Ellen's child persona was so similar to some that I was friends with at school! So realistic it was quite breathtaking.

The adult Hannah obviously felt so much guilt and wouldn't allow herself to forgive the younger her.

I can't
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm starting to think that Louise Douglas is a one-hit wonder for me, and that's a bummer. I really enjoyed The Secret by the Lake, begrudging finished and had many, many gripes about Your Beautiful Lies, and got about 50 pages into this book and realized I had no desire to continue. Nothing about the story was pulling me in. I wasn't connected to the characters, I don't really want to find out what the big "mystery/reveal" is because I simply didn't care. So I rage quit.

My first DNF of
Margaret Lawrence
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book once I got used to it popping back and forth in time. It certainly makes you want to see what happened to Ellen.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was very tempting and it was better than I expected. But maybe I wanted more story in the end. Not enough for me.
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Started off well, got better, then went downhill fast in the last chapter or two :(
Dannielle Potts
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
After Reading Books By The Same Author Before This One, I Have To Say, It Isn't Her Best. I Found The More Upper Class Dad's Behaviour Just Short Of Grooming So I Scanned Over The Paragraphs Containing Him But Glad I Carried On With The Actual Novel. A Good Twist Near The End Which Could Be Seen Coming But It Finished The Book Up Nicely
Tegan Ballinger
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing story - could not put it down towards the end. Enjoyed the author's writing style - lots of descriptions and mood setting - very clever character building.
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read a book by Louise Douglas before and wow what a good one to start with! I have been so impressed with her book that now I have bought another one of her books!

Hannah Brown works in a museum in Bristol she has a relatively normal life. She has some secrets and had a mental breakdown a few years ago from something that has stemmed from her past. One day Hannah is having a normal day at work when she spots Ellen Brecht, the girl she tried so hard to forget from her past.

Ellen was
Big Book Little Book
Helen for
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I was gripped by this novel, it has all the essentials for a good read; compelling characters, beautiful settings, an intriguing story and a little bit of mystery to keep you guessing along the way.

The story is told by Hannah who is in her thirties and working for a museum, she is thrown into turmoil one day by a glimpse of her old friend Ellen Brecht and we discover that Hannah’s past holds secrets and
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Louise Douglas or Daphne du Maurier
I loved "The Secrets Between Us" and this was a similar theme. The effect that somebody, who is no longer alive, can have on the living. Here however, the story was, in my opinion, far more tragic. For a start Ellen, the dead girl, was a much more sympathetic character. She was flawed and at times self absorbed, yes. But so was the main character. Hannah said it best when she said that Ellen was "alive". She didn't just live she burned bright. She was great to read about. The love story was ...more
Katey Lovell
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
In Her Shadow is a story of loyalty and tragedy. The two main characters, Hannah and Ellen, are best friends, but very different. Ellen is glamorous, daring and fierce, whilst Hannah is anything but. As the girls grow older they begin to dip their toes into the world of love, lust and desire. Things soon spiral out of control and their lives are irrevocably changed ... Twenty years later, Hannah is convinced that she has seen Ellen. Is it her memory playing cruel tricks? Or is it really Ellen, ...more
Abi Seddon
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a definite page turner which had me gripped all the way through. Three stars may seem miserly for a book I thoroughly enjoyed; however, as my first Louise Douglas novel, I suspect there's better to come. As the book progressed I became more and more frustrated with the lead character, Hannah. This isn't necessarily a criticism, I think Douglas positions her as a very 'human' character representing the traits we'd all like to think we don't have. There were parts of the book I didn't ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was engrossed from the outset. It reminded me a little of 'Eloise' by Judy Finnegan that I read a month or two back (based in Cornwall, a friend believing she was being haunted by her dead best friend, secrets etc), however, this book is far superior and much better told. I didn't warm to Hannah the main character to be honest, but strangely it didn't effect my enjoyment. And I actually liked the ending to this one, more often than not I am disappointed but not ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I was rather disappointed with this book. After reading The love of my life and secrets between us, I was hopeful that this would be another 5 star read. Unfortunately, for me, it was not.

In my opinion, Louise Douglass' greatest quality is how she draws you into a book with her characters. I did not engage with the main characters, Hannah and Ellen at all and their stories became predictable as the story went on. The skipping between times with each chapter became tedious.

I will now read
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Louise Douglas' novels, and this didn't disappoint. Written in her usual gothic, bleak style, this follows the life of Hannah, with flashbacks to her youth and her suffocatingly close friendship with the doomed Ellen. I think many of us can identify with the descriptions of an all consuming teenage friendship that borders on jealousy. This is one of those novels that stays with you when you're not reading it, leaving you tinged with anxiety (this isn't a criticism). I really ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my second Louise Douglas book. I loved the first one I read and this too was excellent, Set in Cornwall the place I love most in my country, this book appealed to me on every level. Hannah and Ellen are best friends growing up but Ellen drowns whilst Hannah is away on an archeological expedition. Years later Hannah sees Ellen in Bristol where she is working, how can that be when Ellen is dead. The past comes back and Hannah has to face up to things she has buried deep. My kind of novel ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brilliant
Gripping story and one of those books that can't easily be put down and has you thinking about the events/characters between reading sessions. A mysterious story about a woman who can't really move on with her life because of events that happened in her teenage years (her best friend, who she thought had died, seems to have returned). The author seamlessly switches the story from past to present while uncovering the events and unearthing the secrets held for years. A promising and just ending. ...more
Rory Stanbridge
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the third book from Louise Douglas that I have read and I have enjoyed them all. A real touch of Virginia Andrews about her writing. She draws you into the characters beautifully and then tells a delightful tale of love and emotion. Not very manly to admit this but I did cry at the end of the book and was totally unprepared for the ending. A fabulous holiday read and I have just downloaded the fourth of her books for my next trip. I love this author(ess) and not just because she is a ...more
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I've always loved reading and writing and all I ever wanted to be was an author. I've had four books published now, the fifth is written and is due to be published in August 2013 and I'm working on the sixth. I live with Kevin in the Mendips, not far from Bristol, a city that I love, and have three beautiful sons. We also have two dogs, Lil and Lola. The Love of My Life is my first book. It was ...more
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