For Fans Of
The long, hot summer of 1976. The Mysterious Romney Marsh in the South of England.
When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write a few wills while waiting for the imminent birth of her first child, little does she anticipate the dramatic events that her decision will set in train. But all too soon the dark and violent past collides with the sun-warmed present and Hazel finds herself pitted against an implacable ancient evil that has stalked the mysterious Romney Marsh for centuries.
As she fights with every fibre of her to right a great wrong, she knows that her very life is at stake ¬– and with it, the life of her unborn baby. Yet to succeed, she must also change the destiny of a young woman who lived 200 years previously – for Annie’s fate is interwoven with her own. And time is running out.
A fast-paced mystery thriller, full of suspense, that includes a good helping of history, a sprinkling of ghosts and a time-slip.
It's 1976. All Hazel wants to do is drop her busy modern career as a solicitor (attorney) and get ready to be a mother.
She and her husband move to a small English village and find a lovely old cottage. Did she see an old lady in a rocking chair in that room? Must be her imagination.
Hazel gets roped into writing wills for the people in the village, but a couple of the women seem a bit unhinged? Noises in the attic? Smuggling people? Definitely someone's imagination.
The more Hazel gets involved with these people, the more danger she is in. But she has help from Annie who lived in another time...and vice versa.
The story goes back and forth between present day and late 1700's, set in the same town of Rype.
When the clocks stop, some people are able to slip through the veil of time....
Review from The Law Society's Gazette
Solicitor Hazel Dawkins inhabits two menacing worlds in Marion Eaton’s edgy supernatural thriller.
In one world, it is 1976 and pregnant Hazel is setting up her own practice in sleepy Rype-in-the-Marsh in Romney Marsh. Cajoled by pushy bank manager Paul Stone, who embodies the chauvinistic attitudes of that time, Hazel finds that her skills in drawing up wills are in demand.
Yet when Hazel checks some title deeds belonging to the Dickensian-drawn Mrs Pendant who ‘must see the solicitor at once!’, she becomes a magnet for gun-toting criminals. Hazel has sinister dreams too, waking up to the smell of blood; she and her husband Bruce hearing unseen horses galloping down the high street.
Even their home, Rose Cottage, has a chilling association with nightingales, and it is here that Hazel has her first intimation of her ability to delve into another dimension.
This realm concerns the Marsh smugglers known as the Owlers and their conflict with the Eaglewood Gang in the 18th century when the death penalty was meted out for smuggling wool. The history of the Owlers nicely intersperses the story and prepares the reader for when Hazel actually ‘slipped through the veil’, or goes back in time. With Hazel in the 18th century, the story is at its most tense and atmospheric and the parallels with modern-day nefarious elements smoothly crystallise.
Apparitions, bumps in the night, shadows, tunnels and secrets are motifs throughout this first story in the Mysterious Marsh Series. And in Dawkins, Eaton has created a resourceful hero who is equally cool in different epochs.