Published by Zebra on 27th October 2020
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On a remote island off the coast of Maine lies a secluded estate. There, behind wrought iron gates and rock walls, sits Halcyon Hall. Today, it is an exclusive spa catering to wealthy elites and pampered celebrities. But once, it had another name--and a terrifying reputation . . .
Rosemary Tulle has come to Halcyon Hall desperate to find her younger sister. Seventeen-year-old Genevieve left a brief, troubling message on Rosemary's phone, begging to be picked up. But Rosemary is not on the visitor list, and no one will let her in . . .
Halcyon Hall was once Bainesworth Manor, an asylum for the insane. Such places often draw whispers about gruesome treatments and tortured inmates. In the case of Bainesworth, the reality may have been far worse. Now, staff insist that Genevieve ran away, but Rosemary's instincts say otherwise.
Rosemary and Genevieve share an unusual bond, and she knows Genevieve wouldn't have just left. Compelled to turn for help to a man she hoped never to see again, judge Whit Lawrence, she tries to learn the truth about Genevieve. But it will mean uncovering secrets about Bainsworth Manor, and about Rosemary's own dark past--secrets with the power to kill...
The blurb of ‘The Runaway’ has a seductive lure to it, which was what led me to request for the ARC: Rosemary Tulle’s in a rush to locate her sister and she’s given the runaround at every turn, even as she runs into a man whom she finds herself unable to forgive.
But as soon as I started ‘The Runaway’, it became clear that this wasn’t quite the book for me as I went through numerous switches in POV (making this feel more like a mystery/thriller type of book without any romantic bent), a plot that felt like it was too choked to advance because of these bewildering switches and supposedly romantic protagonists who just didn’t exactly get a proper build-up from the very start.
Child’s writing itself isn’t the issue; she gets on well with atmosphere and unearthing character motivations/feelings and thoughts. But this just wasn’t a book that I could comfortably get on with, let alone finish, unfortunately. Again, this might just be a case of my own preferences and reading inclinations, as I’m suspecting that there’s a particular set of rules that I unconsciously adhere to whenever there’s a ‘romance’ tag attached to a book’s category.