cover image What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

Sarah Rayne. Felony & Mayhem, $14.95 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-1-937384-67-8

Rayne (Ghost Song) grips the reader from the opening sentence: "Ella Haywood was in the delicatessen counter queue at the supermarket when she heard the news that ripped open her life and brought her childhood nightmares gibbering back." More than 50 years in the past, Ella and her friends Clementine Poulter and Veronica Campion dared each other to enter the cordoned-off village of Priors Bramley, which was to be the subject of a government experiment to test a new chemical compound, Geranos. While in the village, and with the clock counting down to the dropping of Geranos from a plane, the trio encountered a strangely disfigured man, whom they end up pushing to his death out of fear. The so-called Poisoned Village is finally being reopened, leading to Ella's fears that her past misdeeds will be uncovered. But beyond the familiar storyline, Rayne adds flashbacks to 1912, providing a back story that eventually links up with the main one, and, in the process, creates a truly memorable and scary villain. (June)