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Her Dark Retreat

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The coastguard’s residence Chamber Cottage, which sits high up on the North Yorkshire cliffs, overlooking The North Sea, holds many dark secrets.

Alec and Peggy are struggling to overcome their marital problems. Both damaged by issues from their childhoods, they are trying to get on with their lives. But this is hard for them to do when they both believe they are being watc
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Bloodhound Books
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  390 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
This book started of really well for me it was lacking the suspense only one twist it's very slow in parts of this book it's an okay read just wanted more.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I loved the setting for this book. It really adds to the atmosphere of the story, making it darker and more chilling. It's certainly one that is shrouded with suspense, that's for sure.

The story flicks between certain characters. I have to admit that I found none of the characters likeable in this story apart from ones that are more in the back ground but the main ones had to many issues for my liking. But then surely that's the whole point?

It's obvious from the very beginning that Alec and Pegg
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
Even though I've had 'Undercurrent', another psychological thriller by J.A. Baker in my library for quite some time, I'm ashamed to say that I haven't yet found the time to read it. However, now that I've finished reading 'Her Dark Retreat', I've immediately bumped that book up my TBR pile. I just can't wait to have another taste of this author's crisp, clear, evocative writing.

'Her Dark Retreat' kicks off with a disturbing chapter written from the p.o.v. of someone trapped in some dark narrow s
Joanne Robertson
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading J.A Bakers debut novel Undercurrent, I knew I wanted to read her follow up novel so was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog blitz for Her Dark Retreat. And this is one book where the title really does give you a glimpse into what lies within. This truly is a very dark, creepy and atmospheric read!

What I enjoy about J.A Bakers books is that she totally messes with my brain! There are multiple viewpoints used throughout so you are never quite sure who is telling the truth or
Mark Tilbury
There are a lot of messed up personalities in this book. Characters who, for one reason or another, can't cope with what life throws at them. As I read the story I was trying to figure out how each of them had managed to get where they had, and why things had ended how they had.

This is a very tense read. The characters display a range of emotion that you have to be careful doesn't affect you. I thought Maude was a brilliantly written character. The portrayal of Dementia so very realistic, with i
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A strong 4/ 4.5 for this creepy thriller.
With an astonishing opening that tapped into one of my greatest fears this book had my spine tingling and my full attention from the outset.  Suitably tense, this thriller had lots going on, playing on the remoteness of the cottage, coupled with folklore and myths a sinister undertone weaved through this book.
As the blurb suggests, Alec and Peggy with their own childhood baggage are struggling in their marriage, making them both lonely and isolated.  Pegg
Donna Maguire

I really enjoyed this one, the plot was great and I really enjoyed how the storyline really creeps along and builds up the suspense to give it an added darkness to the book.  I am really enjoying my psychological thrillers at the moment and I really liked the writing style used and how the characters made the book so suspenseful. 

This is my first book by this author so I have gone and bought a copy of Undercurrent her debut novel after reading this one - a
Diana C
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like this writer, I do. This is the third book by this author I have read (The Other Mother & Undercurrent). She can put together a compelling mystery which I always appreciate. However, I would like to see the author move away from the creepy secluded cottages and mansions. Where it always seems to be dark, dreary, icy cold and wet, really really wet. She knows the scene well and does a fine job with her descriptions. It’s obviously her comfort zone & you are supposed to write what yo ...more
Alexina Golding
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Baker has led us to the water again, and with an atmospheric and chilling read. Where all is not what it seems. 
As we are drip fed the information from various perspectives which work like water torture. 
The characterisation and voices were clear and extremely well portrayed regardless of age or gender. 

There were a cast of characters, and they were not always likeable, but relatable, and without giving too much away, Maude's was one of the most heart-breaking, but extremely well written charact
Misfits farm
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting read. Alec and Peggy are like any other couple- or are the?. He appears to have secrets and she has scars from her past. Having been withdrawn Peggy begins to come out of her shell a little and Alec sees the Peggy that he first fell in love with. Up to fifty per cent of the way into this book I didn’t really know where it was going but it kept me interested. Chapters are about, and headed, several of the main characters. We start with a chilling prologue that leads us to b ...more
Mary Snaddon
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This is another 5 star read from this very under-rated author. I loved the debut novel Undercurrent by JA Baker and this one again is a well written page turner. Not very likeable characters, but never the less very real ones. Lots of twists and surprises. Take yourselves away to the coastal setting of Chamber Cottage and immerse yourself in the problems of Alex and Peggy's childhoods, their marriage, and their parents,not to mention poor Maude, the neighbour suffering dementia who claims to wit ...more
Craig Gillan
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, setting was inspired, was guessing all the way through which of the great cast was the worst of a mad bunch
Angela Lowe
Excellent Read.

I like a book which is written well enough to take me into the book, room descriptions, streets, villages etc, and this book does that. Even to knowing there are old flagstones on the cottage floor, an open fireplace, and the sea wind whipping around this old smugglers cottage where the story is set around. This thriller has an ending you won’t see coming, and I’d recommend it if you want a book that you can’t put down, and that you get engrossed in.
Diane Hogg
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have sat and pondered awhile, wondering what can I say, I could rabbit on about how unputdownable, stomach churning and how insatiable my appetite was to devour Her Dark Retreat, but that would be a lie, it was So So Much More.

Her Dark Retreat was like a bucket with holes, the faster you try to fill it the faster it runs out. The red herrings throughout the book remind of that bucket the quicker I filed one away another appeared, thanks for sending me on a wild goose chase, it was awesome.

I ha
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
If the description for the book didn't catch my attention that then eerie cover definitely did. I couldn't wait to start reading and see where this story would take me. Well what can I say about that opening I think I had to take a deep breath before carrying on with the next chapter. One word I could use to describe it is definitely tense, very dark and tense I almost felt as if I was right there with the character. It was certainly one way of grabbing my attention!

With plenty of secrets to kee
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Peggy is a successful writer but her life is a bit of a mess. Scarred from an accident when she was younger, her marriage is falling apart. Then her estranged mother comes back into her life claiming her husband, Alec, is not who he thinks he is, he’s responsible for the disappearance of a young woman called Sheryl.

I found this book so addictive, it grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let me go!

I like the way the author gives you a bit of information but not everything, so you had to read
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm usually pretty easy to please with psychological thrillers, but this really didn't do it for me. The fundamental problem was that about a third of the way in, 95% of the mystery is basically solved, all the details confirmed, and there's only one "twist" that can really happen so there's minimal tension in the plot. And the "twist" isn't crafted particularly cleverly, even when I was looking for it I saw no hints or clues in the text, just the absence of confirmation of this one thing. Witho ...more
Nicki Southwell
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a dark, thought provoking thriller which keeps you guessing until the end. It does all become clear eventually, but parts of the plot take time to come together.

Peggy and Alex live on the East Coast in an old cottage on the cliffs. The weather is brutal but the location wonderful. Peggy works from home as an author, Alex is the newly appointed deputy head at a local primary school.

Their marriage is a strange one, in that something happened years ago, Peggy hates meeting new people and av
Julie Lacey
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and liked the way the story was told from different characters perspectives.
Peggy has a strained relationship with her husband and no longer speaks to her mother, Audrey, due to something that happened in the past.
Each chapter takes you deeper and deeper into this families problems and with each perspective, you learn something new about each character.
There is also an elderly neighbour who suffers from dementia and it soon becomes apparent that she thinks she knows
Natasha du Plessis
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first JA Baker book. The story is told from different perspectives and makes you wonder a lot about what you are reading. This was a very dark thriller, darker than what I usually read. It felt to me that the sun didn't shine once in the book, everything was just dark and gloomy. I enjoyed the writing style and the description of the characters. From the beginning I had an idea of what was going to and had happened but the ending I did not expect.
I would recommend this book to all re
Susan Angela Wallace
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Her dark retreat by ja baker.
This story resolves around peggy alex and audrey who is Peggy's mum. Peggy and alex live in chamber cottage. Rachel comes along looking for her sister sheryl.
What happened to Sheryl?
Was it Alex or peggy. Audrey will find out.
This starts of really slow to begin with but then all of a sudden you can't put it down. I wanted to know what happened. This was a slow dark and shocking read. 4* for the slow start. Bloodhound books.
Melanie Lewis
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. The tension builds and builds. J A Baker has written a tale, which is multi layered with a number of little intrigues here and there. The reader has to keep going to see how it's all going to come together in the end. Whilst there was one twist that, in fact, I definitely did see coming, there were others that I really didn't. A well written tale that I'm happy to recommend.
Julie Adey
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gripping read

I thought this was a great story and couldn't put it down. I didn't really get the character Maude though and didn't think she needed to be in it. I admit skipping some of her chapter's. That aside though loved it and recommend it.
Suzanne Edwards
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Quite intriguing...the scenery the cottage and area just added so much to the story...I wanted to live there but then again I didn’t...just too lonely and would make one quite mad and seamed to do just that
John Morris
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A damn good read

This was an excellent, slow burn, thriller with an ending that no one could have predicted. It took me a while to get into the story but I'm glad I stuck with it. Highly recommended.
June Field
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This was an amazing story which came to an even more amazing conclusion! I couldn't put it down. The content was well thought out and the characters described are come so alive as the plot comes to its unexpected ending. This book will not be a disappointment to anyone who enjoys a thriller with a twist!
Elaine Ross
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
5 Stars

Another great read from this author. This is the 3rd book I've read & like the 2 before this 1 had me gripped from the beginning. Kept me guessing throughout with a great twist at the end.
Elizabeth Berg
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I could not put this book down. I am still shocked at the end what a twist!!!! I LOVED IT can't wait To read more from Ms. Baker
Deirdre Mathias
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Thumping good thriller. Very cleverly wrought. Well written (except for a few grammatical mistakes e.g. “ sat down” instead of ‘sitting’) but that is maybe pedantic. Psychologically absorbing with a well thought out ending like a perfect missing piece of the jigsaw. Loved it.
Michelle Ryles
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-read
This is one of those books that I find very difficult to review; it's a case of the less said the better for fear of revealing any spoilers but, believe me, this is a book that you really must read. If you haven't read Undercurrent, J.A. Baker's debut, you don't want to miss that one either. Although both Undercurrent and Her Dark Retreat are standalone novels, I don't want you to miss out on discovering some outstanding fiction.

The blurb tells us that Chamber Cottage holds many dark secrets, an
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J. A. Baker was born and brought up in the North East of England and Undercurrent was her debut novel, making it into the Top 100 on Amazon.

She has an MA in Education & Applied Linguistics and works in a local primary school.

Her other books, Her Dark Retreat and The Other Mother, released in 2018 were Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon.

J. A. Baker's fourth novel, Finding Eva was released in August