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Den perfekta mannen. Den perfekta styvsonen. Den perfekta lögnen?

När Rachel gifter sig med mörka, stiliga David är det som att allt faller på plats. Den delade lägenheten i Londons södra förorter ersätts med ett fantastiskt hus i Cornwall, och singellivet med en kärleksfull man och en tillgiven styvson.
Men gradvis förändras pojken Jamies beteende. Han kommer med otäcka profetior och säger sig vara förföljd av sin döda mors vålnad. Först tänker Rachel att han gör det för att straffa henne, men inser snart att han är mer traumatiserad än hon trott.
När hon tar upp det med David möter hon bara motstånd; han vill inte alls prata om Jamies utbrott. Inte heller får Rachel veta detaljerna kring Davids före detta frus plötsliga död mindre än två år tidigare.
Sommar blir till höst och när vintern närmar sig börjar Rachel frukta att det ligger något i Jamies hemska ord: "Du kommer att dö i jul."

S. K. Tremayne, är en av journalisten Sean Thomas pseudonymer. Thomas föddes
1963 i Storbritannien, har studerat filosofi och medverkat i flera stora engelska
tidningar. Boken Istvillingar blev en läsarsuccé samt en Sunday Times bestseller.

350 pages, Unknown Binding

First published June 16, 2016

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About the author

S.K. Tremayne

21 books1,163 followers
Hello! I am S K Tremayne, but my true name is Sean Thomas.

I write books where real places become menacing, and where ordinary people experience something extraordinary.

Born in Devon, I now live in London, but I travel a lot in my second job as a journalist, sometimes visiting places which inspire the books. My first S K Tremayne thriller, THE ICE TWINS, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. The S K Tremayne novels have been translated into thirty languages, and have been bestsellers around the globe. Yay!

I am always happy to hear from readers; you can reach me at:


I also have a website: www.sktremayne.com

My latest book is THE ASSISTANT, published in the UK on December 26, 2019 (but a bit earlier on Kindle). It's all about the way we give our lives to technology, and what happens if that technology turns on us, and haunts us.

When I'm not working on books or articles, I can generally be found staring out of windows, urgently looking for the next good idea.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,013 reviews
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,286 reviews1,257 followers
September 20, 2017
Absolutely brilliant! I'd go so far as to say better than The Ice Twins. This book just blew me away. It's only the third book ever to make me cry and oh Lord!...the twists it took me on nearly broke me into a million pieces.

It has a slow, atmospheric start as the landscape and imagery is built up like poetry. The author builds up the characters the same way and before long the dark twists and shades of grey start to enter the book. This book messed with my head! If you look to the low left of this map of Cornish Mines you can see a few that are mentioned in the novel including Zenner and St Just, very real places.

I'm not even venturing into the plot except to say it's excellent, very clever and very sharp. The imagination of the author just excels. The book starts to move along until you are caught up with it until the world around you falls away.

I felt so much reading this. Genuine tension and fear, shock, surprise, confusion, wonder, sadness, pain...you name it. It's incredibly well written and is like nothing else I've read this year. This is a book you have to read, but don't compare to his first book, pretend you've not read that even though that too was brilliant.

There are moments in this that took my breath away and whilst I had a hint of what the truth might be where the author took the ending had me tossed around on boisterous waves! I was utterly enthralled, horrified and sad all at the same time. I loved it. Really loved it. This book is a cut above many psychological thrillers.

With characters and locations that are unforgettable, a plot that steals you from reality and makes you wonder if you are seeing truth or not, this is pure magic. Utterly recommended to everyone. I could gush and gush but I'm glad of a real stand out read this year. 5, no 6 huge stars. This author is a force to be reckoned with.

It's been a few days since I wrote this review and it still haunts me, some of the scenes are just...haunting. Such a clever way of writing with the tension mounting. I'm a huge fan of this author and think this will be a big hit this year. It's in my long list for my Top Ten reads of 2016 and so far in my top three for sure.

Should you be intrigued to delve deeper into the incredible history of mining in Cornwall, this website might of some interest to you: http://www.cornishmining.net/default.htm

Many thanks to the publisher for my ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12k followers
August 16, 2018
Oh my goodness, The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne was an extremely good psychological thriller that is tense, gripping and a scary read which I thought is definitely worth another 5-star rating from me.

Okay, I am doing things a little different with this review. There are a few things that make a novel really stand out for me and they are:

1. The Cover: The cover usually has to grab my attention in some way as this is normally how a book is chosen to be read by me. / This cover absolutely did that for me; it looks suspenseful and the setting has an eerie feel to it.

2. The Title: Has to be somewhat appealing, anything with the word child in it usually is for me. I get why this title was chosen for this book but cannot actually mention here as it would be a little bit of a spoiler.

3. The Plot: "You will be dead by Christmas." Absolutely messed with my head! I didn't know if what was happening was reality or something paranormal. Kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat with the anticipation of not knowing what was the truth or not. It was haunting, clever, suspenseful, shocking, tense and imaginative. I felt so many emotions while reading this one. I was scared, confused, shocked, fearful, mad, sad, and happy. That is good writing to make me feel so many different emotions while reading a book.

4. The Characters: Now I don't necessarily have to like the characters or have some connection with them to enjoy a book. I feel that everyone has their own opinions or reasons why a character resonates with them or doesn't. / I found that I mostly enjoyed all the characters and the setting of this book made it that much more spooky for me. Carnhallow even sounds spooky! I found it was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved. Jamie was my favourite character.

5. The Ending: I am pretty open here in regards to how an author chooses to wrap up their novel. For me as long as the reveal is well executed, exciting, somewhat surprising, has me totally engaged in what I am reading and end up feeling totally satisfied then it will get high praises from me. / This one definitely gets high praises as I didn't know what was happening and where it was going to end up and it did not disappoint. It was quite surprising, satisfying and very pleasing for a complete reading experience.

To wrap it all up it was an extremely good thriller which was entertaining, enjoyable, scary, quick and easy, fast-paced, and an interesting read with a very satisfying ending. Would recommend!!

All of Brenda and my reviews can be found on our sister blog:

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,694 reviews14.1k followers
August 29, 2016
Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere, this book has in in spades. Of course it helps that it is set in Cornwall, home of the copper mines (shades of Poldark), mines owned for generations of the family that own the beautiful house, Carnhallow. A dead first wife, a boy who claims to hear and see his dead mother and a new bride, Rachel, who wants only to restore the house, be a good mother to a young boy who desperately needs one and a good wife to the heir of the family, David, but she carries some harmful and secret baggage of her own. The black and white photos of the mines, the workers, and the scenery at the beginning of each chapter brought everything together.

I had no clue what was going on in this book, incredibly suspenseful, no idea if what was being seen and heard was real or not, of the truth was being told or not. Who to believe. Slow building, very descriptive, at times down right creepy. The history of the mines and its workers, the dangerous and harmful lives they lived, added to the atmosphere. An incredibly visual story. I really enjoyed the unraveling of this one, quite enjoyed the experience.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,129 reviews607 followers
October 24, 2017
I loved this dark and atmospheric psychological thriller. Set in the very tip of Cornwall amongst the derelict copper and tin mines with the cliffs and sea on one side and the moors not far away, it’s almost Gothic in feel.

The novel starts in the summer and all is happiness and light. Rachel, from a tough working class background has married David, a wealthy lawyer with an ancestral home in Cornwall founded on the success of the copper and tin mines. David’s first wife, the beautiful and elegant Nina died 18 months ago leaving him a 6 year old son, Jamie, a beautiful child, who Rachel fell in love with at first sight. Once Jamie returns to his job in London, commuting to Cornwall on the weekends, Rachel and Jamie are left alone in an 18-bedroom partly restored mansion with only the housekeeper and David’s mother for company. Rachel looks forward to learning about house restoration and getting to know Jamie better but as the boy starts to make strange premonitions and talk about his dead mother, the isolated house starts to feel creepy and eerie and Rachel finds herself wondering what really happened to Nina.

As the evenings close in, the psychological tension starts to build up, with the chapters counting down the days to Christmas as the weather closes in and Rachel becomes more fearful for herself and Jamie caught in a web of lies she doesn’t understand. As the fear builds, events start to spiral out of control coming to a stunning conclusion on Christmas Day. I did feel the surprise twist at the end was just too much of an unnecessary coincidence, but otherwise it was a thrilling read and I shall certainly be looking out for S.K. Tremayne's next novel. 4.5★

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Harper Collins for a copy of the book to read and review
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
609 reviews477 followers
August 22, 2020
„The doubting the doubt is the beginning of faith.“

In the blurb for this book, they said it was chilling.
And it was.
I got chills multiple times as I was reading this brilliant, in a good way disturbing novel.

The story follows Rachel, a thirty years old woman who marries David, a rich widower, and moves into his big, beautiful house called Carnhallow, in Cornwall.

Cornwall is the place I read about in so many books, I can't even count. But you know what? This was the first time I was reading a dark tale that was settled in that admirable place I'd like to visit one day.

I liked the atmosphere in this book. Nothing was perfectly clear and, often, it felt like I could picture the mist over the Cornwall and the whole story that S.K. Tremayne so talentedly presented to us.

What I liked the most was the fact that all characters, main and impotant side ones, were unreliable.
Jamie, Rachel, David, David's mother Julie
- they were all unpredictable and I couldn't trust anyone.
Even the dead character, David's first wife Nina, was untrustworthy.


This book messed with my head bigtime, and I welcomed it wholeheartedly.
It kept me on the edge of my seat, made me want to read faster and then made me feel angry I couldn't.
It made me emotional, it made me scared for characters, it made me question my logic.

And those, in my opinion, are the signs of a well-done psychological thriller.


The story is written in two POVs: Rachel's and David's.
Rachel POV was written in first person and it had that power to pull you into the story. Majority of The Fire Child is written in Rachel's POV, as she is the main character.
David's POV was written in third person and even though there were only few chapters that told his perspective, they were important ones.

The writing style was pretty amazing. It was fast paced with some bigger words used from time to time.
S.K. Tremayne is one skilled writer who knows how to capture the intension and compel his readers.

This was my first time reading his work but it surely won't be the last.
I already have his Ice Twins on my tbr and am happy to give it a go when I'll be in a mood for something extremely thought provoking.

Note: I got a copy of this book via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. Thank you HarperCollins UK.

Read this and more reviews on my blog: https://bookdustmagic.com
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,026 reviews309 followers
March 30, 2018
“The Fire Child” by S.K Tremayne is suspenseful, intriguing, gripping and downright chilling!
Rachel has it all when she marries rich, successful, David- a beautiful old estate, fortune unrelenting, and a beautiful stepson, Jamie. Desperate to overcome her dysfunctional and traumatic past, Rachel willingly gives up her old life to move to gorgeous Carnhallow House with her new family to make a new start. However, while all appears settled in the old family home, Rachel begins to notice odd behaviours in her stepson- the strange trances, whispering to himself, strange visions that seem to come true and claims that he sees the ghost of his dead mother. David refuses to talk about his dead wife or the strange behaviours in Jamie, and Rachel soon begins to doubt her marriage, and her sanity.
The British have a way with writing that I have not quite gotten used to. Besides the unusual slang, I find that they also write in short, choppy sentences. Ms. Tremayne was no different of course, however once I adjusted my North American brain to the sentence structure, this novel enraptured me completely.
Starting off slow with depictions of the Cornwall landscape, I had my doubts about this novel initially. I kept waiting for the history lesson to end and the storyline to start. It did not take very long! Once Jamie’s strange behaviours and predictions began, I could not put this novel down. The ending was completely unexpected but satisfying (yay!) and I was left guessing throughout the entire story.
Rachel is a great character, full of dysfunction and Jamie is completely adorable, whereas David runs the gamut from charming husband to completely despicable, ending up somewhere in between by the end of the novel.
Ms. Tremayne provides us with a little bit of history too, depicting the horrible ways of life suffered by the tin miners who slaved in the dark pits while the mine owners lived close by in absolutely luxury.
This novel thoroughly impressed me and it was one I won’t soon forget. I loved how the ending wrapped up the story line completely, in the best way possible. I am definitely going to be reading “The Ice Twins” and anything else that Ms. Tremayne puts to paper.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,543 reviews24.6k followers
June 7, 2016
This is a slow build psychological thriller where the overriding character is Cornwall. It is an atmospheric, spooky and dark read. This is the first book I've read by the author and it certainly held my attention. Rachel lives in an isolated part of Cornwall. She is married to the wealthy David, whom she adores and has a stepson, Jamie, with whom she gets on well. It all sounds too good to be true and sure enough, cracks soon begin to appear in this seemingly happy family.

Jamie's behaviour begins to change radically. He insists that he is being haunted by his dead mother and starts to make disturbing predictions that unsettle and worry Rachel. Suspicions about her hither to perfect husband, David, begin to enter her mind. What exactly happened to his first wife? Rachel starts to explore the past, desperately afraid about what she might uncover. The author has a real talent for excellent descriptions and creating a atmospheric read. The story is beautifully plotted and makes the most of Cornwall's landscape and history. A recommended read. Thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
Profile Image for Tracy Fenton.
906 reviews172 followers
May 31, 2016
Firstly I need to say that I loved The Ice Twins so much and when I saw the author had a new psychological thriller out I was extremely excited and delighted to receive an ARC from the publishers and Netgalley. Unfortunately despite reading this over the weekend I am still struggling to actually work out what the story was about. If you are interested in descriptive books and explanations of the mining industry in Cornwall then you will enjoy this. If however you are expecting a gripping psychological thriller you will be disappointed. I thought initially The Fire Child was a slow burner... however by 80% I realised it wasn't going anywhere. This book lacked a credible story, the main characters both had dark pasts which were barely revealed and I found myself skimming over all the descriptive text to find the story. I'm really disappointed as I was really looking forward to reading this book.
Profile Image for Melisa.
324 reviews513 followers
September 10, 2016
This one was very up the middle of the road for me, didn't love it, didn't hate it.

The most enjoyable part for me was learning about the mining history of Cornwall of which I knew nothing. Having Cornwall on the list of places I'd love to visit one day, it was interesting getting this different perspective on the area. Most authors describe the area as an idyllic shore area, but the author described a much different locale - a dark, haunted, sinister version. It was very interesting to gain this perspective based on the history of the area.

It took me a long time to get into the story. In the end, I wasn't able to suspend disbelief enough, and it fell a bit flat for me. I did enjoy the atmospheric writing, but not enough for rave reviews here.

Thank you, Netgalley, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Crime by the Book.
192 reviews1,594 followers
March 5, 2017
My full review can be found at: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/3...

This book definitely wasn't as good as THE ICE TWINS - I'd say this is one to pick up from your library, rather than purchase. That being said, I did end up enjoying it more than I expected to! The last 120ish pages of the book finally gave me the creepiness and suspense I hoped for throughout - I was hooked on the ending. Unfortunately, you do have to make your way through some convoluted writing and "fluffiness" to get there - the beginning of the book almost lost me. All in all, a decent suspense novel, not a great one.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,684 reviews457 followers
March 24, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book quite a bit. This turned out to be quite the page turner and I ended up liking it even more than The Ice Twins. This was a book that I never knew quite what might happen next. I ended up reading this whole book in a little more than 24 hours because I had such a hard time putting it down. I am very glad that I decided to pick this book up.

The story opens with Rachel and David as newlyweds at his family home, Carnhallow House. Rachel is now the step-mother to David's son, Jamie, whose mother has recently died. It is a huge adjustment for Rachel and the day to day task of caring for Jamie falls largely to her since David is away during most of the week for work. Jamie is still grieving the loss of his mother and it is showing in some of his actions. Rachel starts to wonder about what really happened to Jamie's mother and starts asking a lot of questions.

I thought this book had a whole lot going for it. It went in directions that I would have never imagined and I love being taken by surprise with this kind of book. The pacing was perfectly done with enough action to really keep the pages turning. Jamie was one of the creepiest kids that I remember reading about in a book which was a big plus. Add in the old house and the mining tunnels running all over the place and there is a whole lot of creepy in this story. I never really knew if I should trust Rachel. I think that Rachel's character was written in such a way that it was hard to tell if she was actually psychotic or if these things were really happening.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers. This was one of those books that made me wonder if any of the characters should be trusted but I had to keep reading to figure out what was real. This is the second book by S.K. Tremayne that I have read and I can't wait to read more.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I thought that the kid in this story was pretty creepy which I loved! The story took a lot of unexpected twists that kept me guessing.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,014 reviews1,405 followers
July 18, 2016
I received this on a read to review basis from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, S.K. Tremayne, and the publisher, Harper Collins, for the opportunity.

The Fire Child is a thrilling and chilling journey deep into the Cornish countryside. Isolated and standing aloof from the surrounding villages, Carnhallow House has been home to David's family for the past 1,000 years, and to his recent wife, Rachel, for only a few short months. This creepy, ancient house provided the perfect backdrop for the spooky tale that ensued. What happened to David's first wife, Nina? Why has David's son, Jamie, become so distracted and withdrawn? And what are the skeletons that are lurking in Rachel's own cupboard?

I seriously regretted reading this book before bedtime! I was anticipating a straight-up thriller story but what was delivered often bordered on the mildly horrific and Gothic. The suspenseful writing style and the occurrence of unexplained phenomena made for a disquieting tale that I could not anticipate any conceivable and understandable ending for.

This book delivered on every front! I found every character to be relatable, despite or because of their flaws, and I found myself invested in the puzzling mystery surrounding this unconventional family. The shocks that were delivered over the course of the novel was totally unprecedented and I felt I must have read all of this novel with my mouth half hanging open in amazement.

What I most loved about this novel, is that it felt like it paid homage to a number of great Gothic tales, such as The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories, Rebecca and Jane Eyre and expertly evoked the classic storytelling style of slow-building thrills and psychological terrors.
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,939 reviews776 followers
August 31, 2016
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book. The Ice Twins was one of the best books I read last year and to say that I was eager to read this book is an understatement. I was a bit concerned that I had too high expectations since The Ice Twins blew me away, but I was soon relieved when the story hooked me.

What I love about this book is that you just don't know if Rachel is crazy or just paranoid. She acts odd, but then again, so does her stepson Jamie. And, what about David's wife who died not long ago? Is she really a ghost in the house or is Jamie just a traumatized boy? And, what about David? Could he be behind his wife death? The story is strange and wonderful and I loved reading and wondering what the heck is going on?

The story made me think of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Of course, no crazy housekeeper, but the dead wife and the gothic house, and a woman that marries an older man. Yup, that's what made me think of Rebecca.

Of course, it's hard not to compare this book to The Ice Twins and, despite how much I enjoyed this book it just wasn't as captivating as The Ice Twins and the ending was definite not as good. However, it's still a bloody good book and I recommend this book to anyone liking psychological thrillers.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,590 reviews364 followers
June 15, 2016
I have been meaning to read one of this authors books for some time so when I was offered the opportunity to read this book I was very happy to do so.
The book has a fairly slow start but gently picks up the pace throughout and keeps the reader wanting to know more. This atmospheric novel is well written and although it is a thriller there is a touch of horror for good measure.

The novel features Rachel who following her marriage to David moves to live at Carnhallow House with him and his son Jamie. David's first wife, Nina, died tragically at Christmas when she fell into a mine shaft and her body was never found.

Carnhallow House is beautiful and David's family have lived there for hundreds of years making their money as the owners of the Cornish tin mines. Everything appears to be going so well but for Rachel’s step-son Jamie who is a sad figure who is haunted and quite disturbed by his mothers passing. The suspense grows as Rachel begins to have doubts over the death of Nina and she delves into the past to find out the truth.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Harper Collins for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Maria.
920 reviews104 followers
February 7, 2017
Adorei o mistério, o facto de me ir enganando ao longo do livro e nunca conseguir desvendar o final, e as personagens que, à sua maneira, trazem riqueza maior ao livro.

Com uma paisagem incrível, sempre em tons de cinzento, que gela a cada capítulo que passa, S. K. Tremayne ganhou mais uma seguidora da sua obra.

Opinião completa em: http://marcadordelivros.blogspot.pt/2...
Profile Image for Amy.
1,831 reviews1,862 followers
March 17, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

I wanted to love this one, I really did. The Ice Twins has been recommended to me by so many people so when I saw the same author had a new book on Netgalley I jumped at the chance. Let me back up a little, this has been a crappy reading week for me, I gave up on two books before I started this one. I started a third but was having technical difficulties, which sucks because I was liking the book. (Those issues have since been resolved!) Anyway, my point is that I picked this up hoping that it would break my streak and leave me excited, but alas I really wish I had just given up on this one when I wasn’t into it by the halfway point, I didn’t really like anything about this one unfortunately.

It starts out really slow, like painfully slow you guys. The chapters are told in a countdown to Christmas because Rachel’s new stepson, Jamie had a premonition that she’ll be dead by then. You learn that David and Rachel had a whirlwind romance and married quickly and they’re all adjusting to their new family. They live in a creepy old house in Cornwall and the atmosphere was ok, I can see where the author was going with it, but it didn’t quite do it for me. There was tons of history behind the mines and it was mind numbingly boring. I almost gave up, but I peeked at a few reviews that said it gets better, so I persevered. I should’ve called it quits at this point.

By seventy five percent I was still not engaged, it was clear all three family members were hiding things, David about the night that his first wife, Nina died, and Rachel about her past. Jamie was either the creepiest little psychic around or a big fat liar, but as I never connected with any of them so I just didn’t care either way.

When the big twist was finally revealed I was actually pissed off. It was so improbable that it goes way beyond suspending disbelief. It made no sense to me whatsoever and by the final few pages I was skimming just to finish. I never do that, if I’m committed to a book, I’m usually all in but I was so beyond annoyed at this point that I just couldn’t take it. Now that I’ve looked at the reviews on Goodreads I see they’re all over the map, some of my friends loved this and others felt more like me, so don’t let my feelings dissuade you if this is on your radar, it could go either way.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,405 reviews989 followers
June 18, 2016

First of all – creepy child alert. This author seems to excel on that subject because Jamie is most definitely a creepy child. Shiver. Seriously. I’ve been eyeing my own two children suspiciously since reading this book – clever writing.

Rachel marries David after a whirlwind romance – and heads off to start a new life in Cornwall. Determined to help Jamie get over the loss of his mother she has all the good intentions – but there is something strange about the death of Davids previous wife, Jamie starts to act oddly (seriously I would have headed straight back to the big city and dang the consequences but I guess that would have been a very quick read – main character acts sensibly in nefarious situation) and the house and area in which she is living begins to take on a sinister vibe.

The sense of place in The Fire Child is brilliantly executed – the wilds of Cornwall, the beauty and the danger, come to vivid life around Rachel as she tries to navigate the maze of her new life, this for me was one of the strongest aspects of this particular story. Tis a twisty tale also, and as I mentioned earlier Jamie is a very creepy child – but also strangely sympathetic. The author plays on a possible supernatural aspect against the more likely scenario that the lad is just suffering the traumatic aftermath of losing his mother and it is extremely addictive reading.

Whilst of the two novels I probably preferred The Ice Twins simply because I related more to the characters in that one, The Fire Child is immersive reading with some beautiful descriptive prose and an atmospheric, sometimes quite lyrical flow. The author plays with your perceptions and overall it was a classically executed psychological thriller with what feels like a bit of a homage to “Rebecca” – but I may be making that up.

Recommended if you like creepy haunting tales that may not necessarily go where you are expecting them to go
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,464 reviews9 followers
November 2, 2016
I loved the setting of this story from the start, which is Cornwall, near the old abandoned copper mines of the past--Wheal Rose, Wheal Chance, and dozens more...now in ruins, yet ever present.... I was constantly reminded of Poldark.

Rachel has just married into a wealthy family, a widower with a small son and elderly mother. There in the huge family manor house with a name (Carnhallow) are constant reminders of Wife #1, the beautiful Nina who died too young in an accident. Rachel is left to wander the rooms and the grounds while husband David spends every week lawyering in London.... Shades of Rebecca?

OK, I'm hooked! However... it's not as simple as all that. There are also -- thank God I read this around Halloween -- shades of The Twilight Zone.

The 8 year old son Jamie has taken his mother's death hard. Rachel is challenged to make life normal again for the little fella. But maybe his world cannot be exactly normal. His mind seems preoccupied, and Rachel witnesses him talking to apparitions and dreaming of events yet to happen. Who is he talking to when by himself? What does he know about the night of his Mummy's accident?

A great start and a decent ending, but some of the middle felt like it was coming completely apart, plummeting into uncharted territory. It kept me guessing. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher.
Profile Image for Bill Kupersmith.
Author 1 book196 followers
August 11, 2016
Most of the of progeny of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca bear the same resemblance to the original as those “Rolexes” you can buy in Hong Kong. Not The Fire Child. It is a genuine Patek Philippe: the best contemporary gothic I have ever read. Mysterious haunting ruins are a staple of the gothic, & the remaining towers of the abandoned tin mines on the wild Cornish coast one of the best & most moving sights in England. (The Cornish aren’t really English, but their language, akin to Welsh, died out early in the 19th century, tho’ some enthusiasts have tried to revive it.) The ruined towers were situated on the coast so the mine shafts could stretch out under the ocean. The thought of the toil, danger, hardship & care the miners endured so that the family of the mine owner could live over them in a mansion (with 78 bedrooms!) makes one understand why people turned Bolshevik. (The old photographs, along with some new ones by the author, add an especially spooky touch - the one of the niners on p. 354 really got me.) Following the traditional formula, Rachel, a working-class almost-30 woman from a very dysfunctional family in South London, has married David, the scion of the mining aristocracy, tho’ the family fortune is gone & David is trying to restore Carnhallow (our Manderley knockoff) by overworking himself in London as a City solicitor. (How, we wonder, does her preserve his ‘muscular’ body Rachel loves with a 12-hour desk job fuelled by alcohol?)The previous chatelaine, Nina, perished mysteriously by falling down a mine shaft - leaving an 8 y/o boy Jamie, for whom his new stepmother experiences an immediate attraction. But Jamie seems obsessed with the memory of his mother, who has a grave site in a churchyard, tho’ no body was ever recovered. There is also a grandmother, Juliet, who serves as a communal memory like Mrs. Danvers, tho’ unlike Danvers, Juliet is an attractive character & her memory seemingly impaired by the onset of dementia. Is it possible that Nina could still be alive? Rachel thinks she caught a vision of her on a bus. Could Rachel be going insane? Is she slated for the role of madwoman in the attic? The same turn occurred in Judy Finnigan’s Eloise. All the traditional elements of gothic fiction are present in The Fire Child, but they are prepared with fresh & delicious ingredients & presented with a brilliant twist that is both ancient (King Oedipus & Tom Jones are classic prototypes) & up-to-the moment.

Personally, I find our fascination with plot twists in fiction overdone. ‘I never saw that one coming’ is a frequent term of praise in reviews, but I think more is required for the real literary pleasure that comes only on a 2nd reading. I like a twist that raises what has already been an acceptable but seemingly routine plot to a new artistic level. It is less important for me that I didn’t see the twist coming but that it makes all the elements of the plot come together seamlessly & suddenly. Also, the twist should not depend too much on mere coincidence or accident, but feel inevitable & right, what in hindsight must happen. In The Fire Child, the author achieves both brilliantly. I loved The Ice Twins, but find The Fire Child even better. It is completely faithful to the settings, characters & plot elements of the traditional gothic, & yet strikingly new & original.
Profile Image for Zuky the BookBum.
591 reviews304 followers
June 21, 2017
Also read my review here: http://bookbum.weebly.com/book-review...

The doubting of doubt is the beginning of faith.

What an interesting and unique mystery thriller book! I’m very happy with how this turned out. A much more fun and exciting read than the last few things I’ve read.

So eloquently written! I feel like I’ve read too many books recently that just give you a story, they don’t do anything to set up the story, don’t give you a clear picture of where the story’s set, how the characters are feeling, how beautiful or horrible their surroundings are. The Fire Child, however, does all of that and more. This is the sort of novel that you completely invest your imagination into, the language in this book shows you what you’re reading. The simultaneously gorgeous and terrifying sights of Cornwall come alive in your mind while you’re reading this.

Each character in this book was so well developed. You really managed to get to know each and everyone of them. All of them helping you piece together the mystery of Nina’s death, little by little.

I have been in a bit of a slump with reading this past week, but the last 15% of this novel really had me hooked! I was rushing through the pages, trying to work out what was going on, praying Rachel and Jamie would be safe. I loved how creepy it got! Mystery thrillers tend to just be exciting and fast faced, but this had a kind of scary factor within it too, with all the old history, deaths and talk of ghosts, it was certainly a rather unique mystery book.

So I was so certain I’d guessed what the twist was going to be and oh what a fool I was to think I could have guessed it so early on in the novel. This has a shocker of an ending. Well, maybe it doesn’t, but because I was so dead set on what I thought was going to happen, it feels like it does.

I feel like all novels out there are just trying to put women off getting into a relationship / marriage with men! Why are men so evil in books?

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Houston.
290 reviews9 followers
August 20, 2016
The Fire Child S K Trmayne

Rachel marries her rich prince.David. he has everything a girl could want. Money, land, and a beautiful huge stately home. Leaving the dregs of London behind, she heads off to start her wonderful new life with her new husband and stepson to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall.

Her stepson Jamie, still grieving the recent death of his mother, starts acting strange. Haunted by his late mother.

Rachel begins to undig the past of the beautiful Carnhallow House history. Will she regret opening this can of worms....

Have never been to cornwall. The authors description really makes you feel you are there with the wonderful
description. Reading along your always wondering how this is going to end. Knowing how the ice twins shocked me
with its ending i tried guessing this one all the way along. Had lots of endings in my mind but once again the author had me on the edge of my seat until the last page.

Have never felt such fear and anxiety reading a book before. Had to put it down a few times to compose myself. What a fantastic brilliant read

Thank you to Harper Collins and S K Treymane for a free copy of this book in return for a review of the book
Profile Image for Lee.
601 reviews98 followers
August 9, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ice Twins but have to say I enjoyed this book even more. Rachel marries David who has a young son Jamie and they move into a very remote and large property called Carnhollow House, this property was previously home to David and his former wife Nina who disappeared down a mineshaft on the property but whose body was never discovered. Certain activity begins to occur in the house and Jamie's behaviour also changes and Rachel becomes quite spooked by her surroundings. She comes from a very humble background and she finds this large property quite overwhelming. There is a sense of the supernatural and the characters lead you in many directions and you are not sure what to believe. Then again this makes the book so good. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alina 🌳.
59 reviews25 followers
April 6, 2021
Die Protagonistin Rachel heiratete in der Vergangenheit den wohlhabenden David. Er besitzt ein kleines Anwesen in Cornwall und hat noch einen Sohn, Jamie, aus seiner ersten Ehe. Jedoch ist seine Ehefrau damals unter mysteriösen Umständen gestorben. Sie nimmt sich der Umgestaltung des Hauses sowie ihrem Stiefsohn Jamie voll und ganz an. David ist viel am arbeiten, weshalb sie häufiger alleine mit Jamie ist. Von Zeit zu Zeit verhält sich Jamie aber immer merkwürdiger und scheint die Zukunft voraussehen zu können. Wie ist das möglich? Verheimlicht ihr Ehemann ihr etwas? Hat das alles mit Jamies Mutter zu tun?

EIn schöner Thriller, mit typischen Elementen. Cornwall, was schon atmosphärisch genug ist. Dann ein altes Anwesen mit Geheimnissen und ein Kind mit merkwürdigen Verhalten. Könnte ganz leicht an „The Shining“ erinnern. Tut es jedoch eher weniger. Besonders gefallen hat mir die Atmosphäre, denn sie hat mir sehr gut gezeigt, wie Rachel sich gefühlt haben mag. Es gab viel historisches Hintergrundwissen, was mir unglaublich gefiel. Man flog eigentlich nur so durch das Buch.

Kritikpunkt: Die Charaktere waren mir alle zu klischeehaft. Auch diese Konstellation: Ahnungslose Hausfrau, immer arbeitender, reicher Geschäftsmann und merkwürdiges Kind sowie eine Oma die komische Andeutungen macht. Sowas gibts wirklich sehr häufig. Das Verhalten von David ist mir stellenweise doch sehr vorhersehbar gewesen und Rachel war häufig zu naiv.

Insgesamt, gute Unterhaltungsliteratur mir super Atmosphäre. Toll, dass man noch etwas historisches über Cornwall lernt. Die Geschichte selbst jedoch zu vorhersehbar.
Profile Image for Lavender.
504 reviews15 followers
December 14, 2016
There is nothing good about this book I could say. Such a waste of time, such a crude story. It started good but got worse with every page. Awfull. I will never ever read anything from this author again.
Profile Image for Yvonne (It's All About Books).
1,989 reviews250 followers
August 1, 2016
Finished reading: July 26th 2016
Rating 4,5qqq

“Maybe nothing could extinguish the yearning of human love; maybe it travelled on for ever, through the darkness. Like the light from dead stars.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HarperCollins UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
December 10, 2018
5 Words: Secrets, lies, families, trust, history.

Content Warnings: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Self Harm, Postpartum Depression.

I feel like I'm missing something listing the content warnings there, like there's something else I should mention, but I can't figure out what it is. But basically this book is hella unsettling, and I was very much shocked by the content as it comes out of nowhere and I wasn't expecting it. That said, it was still a good book.

I liked the dual narrative, how despite the two perspectives I was always unsure of what was going on, always on the edge of my seat. Both narrators are unreliable, and that is one of my favourite things to read. I love how sure and unsure Rachel was. I love how David became almost a different person as the story progressed. The narrative really showed how the thoughts and feelings of teh characters changed, and their voices drove the pace. Whether it was Rachel's fear or David's anger, everything got faster and more intense.

The story itself is rather far-fetched - a lot of unlikely coincidences and some things that just feel like too much. I get that life can be stranger than fiction but there is So Much that it feels a little too much.

This is one of those instanced where I liked the epilogue. It was lovely to see what happened to the characters after the story ended.

The Fire Child is a tough read, but fast paced and surprising. Recommended to fans of dark thrillers.

This book has been out for over two years, so I was surprised that reviews I looked at before hand didn't mention such content. Because it really is brutal.
Profile Image for Karen.
758 reviews81 followers
August 18, 2016
The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne
The roiling sea is whipping and lashing at the rocky cliffs. The Forest that surrounds the large estate is vast with trees for miles. It is winter and everywhere the landscape is frozen with tinkling icicles.
With S.K. Tremaynes newest novel the landscape comes alive. Setting is so much a part of the story as alive and vivid as any of the characters. I was totally immersed in this psychological thriller. I was totally immersed by the storytelling. Just like her former book The Ice Twins the momentum slowly builds scaring me so much that I physically could feel the adrenaline racing in my body. Move over Stephen King, you have someone that raises goosebumps and chills better.

Rachael and David seem like any ordinary married couple living in a huge estate in desolation. Jamie is David's son from a previous marriage. Why is Jamie able to communicate with his dead mother? What are the true circumstances surrounding her death? Why did David lie to the police about his previous wife's death? Jamie tells Rachael that she won't be alive past Christmas. The countdown begins and is Jamie seeing ghosts or is Rachel suffering from psychosis?
Profile Image for Joanne Robertson.
1,349 reviews550 followers
June 20, 2016
As most people know, I adore books about twins and have to admit to absolutely loving S.K.Tremaynes debut novel The Ice Twins. So how would this second, eagerly awaited, novel compare? Well, I have just this minute finished it and I thought it was brilliant! I would even go so far as to say that it's even better than The Ice Twins....Yes it's that good! It is proving, however, to be a little bit of a Marmite book with reviewers and bloggers so I suggest you read it then make up your own mind which side of the fence you are on.

My first thought on starting The Fire Child was that it had that haunting similarity to Rebecca (with a touch of The Omen thrown in for good measure!), which is one of my very favourite books. It just had an essence of it, mainly centred around Rachel and the way her life has changed after moving from London to the Winter wilds of Cornwall. Rachel has married the gorgeous widower David and moved to his eighteen bedroom manor where she is now stepmother and main childcare provider to eight year old Jamie. Jamie lost his mother two years previously and is still struggling to cope with his loss. He talks with a maturity beyond his years but his emotions have been damaged so much that when he starts talking to Rachel about his mum, she is worried enough to bring in a child psychologist. But Jamie is hearing voices and a supernatural element creeps into this story unexpectedly!

Jamie was a complex character, I was never very sure what to make of him. This poor young boy had lost his mother but he starts to act strangely around Rachel, who in turn starts delving deeper into the mystery surrounding David's first wife's death. He seriously creeped me out at times but at others I just wanted to cuddle him and tell him everything would be ok.

The method of storytelling here is so intense and claustrophobic that I really fell very deeply into this book, ignoring everything around me as I became swallowed up by the plot. The Cornish setting was just perfect (is that Sainsburys really there? I want to shop there!) and there was a gothic feel to the descriptions of the house and the surrounding areas. The information about the mines was used to great effect in setting up the plot and I found it all to be incredibly interesting! I have visited lots of the places mentioned and had a mental picture of them all whilst reading, the memories coming thick and fast of sunshine and happy times, a real contrast to the dark and gloomy lead up to Christmas described here. Those countdown headings for the chapters were inspired as they built up that feeling of foreboding, the countdown to what could be Rachel's last Christmas.

I honestly had no idea where this book was taking us plotwise and so spent the last quarter of it reading with my chin on the floor! Talk about jaw dropping! I think I forgot to breath as I turned those pages faster and faster, not quite believing what I was reading. I thought the ending was perfectly handled, bringing everything together. I just loved it!

Very highly recommended by me!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Holly.
968 reviews414 followers
December 1, 2016
*2.5 stars

When I saw the S. K. Tremayne had a new book out I was excited simply because I enjoyed his debut novel, The Ice Twins. As soon as I began reading, one thing came to mind, Tremayne knows how to create atmosphere! I felt the isolation that Carnhallow swam in, the desperation Rachel was feeling, and because of this, the novel felt eerie and with that gothic atmosphere that I love. That's ultimately what I loved about this book and what Tremayne is so great at.

The story itself started ok. A whirlwind romance between Rachel and David, married after knowing each other in a short time and after 18 months of David's first wife's death. After moving to Carnhallow, David's ancestral home in Cornwall, Rachel and her step-son start behaving unnaturally. With David being gone for work most of the week, that leaves Rachel to explore and in so doing, begins to wonder just what happened to the first wife. Was her death accidental or was it really murder? Then her step-son begins making predictions, one of them being that Rachel will die at Christmas. With Rachel being so isolated she begins to "hear" things, "see" things, and, of course, gets a little freaked by these predictions. Then David starts behaving aggressively. This is where I started to dislike the book a little. I just felt that David's reaction was extreme all of a sudden. He supposedly loves his wife so much but then suddenly it was different very fast. I'm having trouble coming up with how I felt because everything seemed so rushed at the end. All the actions, emotions........just seemed all of a sudden. There was this great build up, which was fantastic, but then it just fell flat. Honestly? The twist/ending seemed so unbelievable!! I'm completely all for suspending disbelief.....it is FICTION after all.....but, this ending? I just (personally) had trouble with it.

Great atmosphere, loved the isolation of Carnhallow, the setting of Cornwall was great, the beginning was eerie......these are what I enjoyed about the book.

**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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