This debut novel by Jane Cable starts with a mystery and turns into a ghost story. After her divorce, Alice moves with her dog William to a village in North Yorkshire. Newly-arrived, she walks the dog beside the River Swale and sees a naked swimmer. She watches, feeling like a voyeur but unable to leave. Then suddenly he disappears.
Feeling guilty that she didn’t search, or call for help, she drives into town where she goes into a coffee shop down a side street. And is served by the mysterious swimmer. Disturbed by his presence and at the same time attracted to him, she cannot work out how he left the river without her seeing or how he got to town before her.
This first mystery is followed by others, competently handled by this first-time author who draws a fond picture of life in rural North Yorkshire. My only minor quibble would be that for three-quarters of the book, the meaning of the book’s title was lost on me.
‘The Cheesemaker’s House’ by Jane Cable [UK: Matador] Buy now
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