Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

The Shadow House

A Novel

The Shadow House

The Shadow House


About This Book

Extraordinarily tense and deliciously mysterious, Anna Downes's The Shadow House follows one woman's desperate journey to protect her children at any cost, in a remote place where...

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Book Details

Extraordinarily tense and deliciously mysterious, Anna Downes's The Shadow House follows one woman's desperate journey to protect her children at any cost, in a remote place where not everything is as it seems.



Alex, a single mother-of-two, is determined to make a fresh start for her and her children. In an effort to escape her troubled past, she seeks refuge in a rural community. Pine Ridge is idyllic; the surrounding forests are beautiful and the locals welcoming. Mostly.

But Alex finds that she may have disturbed barely hidden secrets in her new home. As a chain of bizarre events is set off, events eerily familiar to those who have lived there for years, Alex realizes that she and her family might be in greater danger than ever before. And that the only way to protect them all is to confront the shadows lurking in Pine Ridge.

A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books.

Imprint Publisher

Macmillan Audio



In The News

"Downes is . . . sowing the seeds of psychological terror, rooted in everyday traumas from sleeplessness to coping with teens, and branching out to create a nightmare world. A hair-raising mood piece you'll be glad to awaken from."—Kirkus Reviews

"This gripped me from the first tense and beautifully written page and didn’t let go. The intriguing, eerie premise of The Shadow House delivered in every sense—I won’t be moving to an ecovillage anytime soon! Anna’s writing is visceral and compelling and the main characters are so well-drawn. I couldn’t trust anyone . . .The tension in this novel slowly ratchets as twist after twist are revealed, climaxing in an edge of the seat finale that had me furiously turning the pages. A must read!" —Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium

"In her riveting and haunting novel, Anna Downes leads us deep into the dark tangled fear and self-doubt of a young mother struggling to distinguish between real and imaginary threats to her child. Downes captures the abject terror that can accompany motherhood. The Shadow House will keep you turning pages into the night." —Mary Dixie Carter, author of The Photographer

"Vivid, atmospheric, and unsettling, The Shadow House will keep you up past your bedtime as you rapidly turn pages. With razor-sharp attention to detail and a setting that will give you chills, author Anna Downes skillfully explores themes of motherhood, relationships, and female instincts, all while maintaining a simmering tension that inevitably boils into brilliant twists and turns. Nuanced, suspenseful, and beautifully written."—Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here

"Vivid, tense, and troubling."—Candice Fox, bestselling author of Crimson Lake

"I was gripped!"—Sara Foster, author of The Hush

"A thrilling novel with a fantastic setting and a plot that unfolds with a devastating resolution."—Kayte Nunn, author of The Botanist’s Daughter

"A smart and twisty thriller, with each beat of the plot timed to perfection."—Kate Mildenhall, author of The Mother Fault

Praise for The Safe Place:

“[Downes is] skilled at ratcheting up the tension and conveying Emily’s sense of thrumming unease . . . an unusual and thrilling narrative.”—The New York Times

“Downes keeps the sense of foreboding building . . . Emily is a compelling character who arrives in France scatterbrained and immature but find the inner strength to save herself.”—The Washington Post

“Downes imbues The Safe Place with a strong sense of the gothic, keeping the suspense high and the tension in the Querencia household palpable. Surrounded by decay, Emily proves her mettle as her maturation and emotional growth enhance the solid plot with its myriad surprises and twists. The Safe Place delivers a deliciously creepy debut.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Secrets are laid bare, and the novel moves toward a conclusion that melds sorrow with satisfaction, ruin with redemption. She does so with evocative and insightful prose, striking characters and a plot that’s astute, addictive and alarming. Downes, who draws on her past for elements of The Safe Place, shows great promise and creates equally great expectations.”—The Free Lance-Star

“The perfect summer mystery read.”—PopSugar

“I absolutely devoured The Safe Place, and lived and breathed every second. The images Anna Downes creates are so vivid and real that I was transported between Soho and France in the flick of an eye. I had no idea where it was going; I just knew I had to hold onto Emily’s coattails and go along for the ride. This one is going to fly! If you love a suspense thriller with a punch, I’d highly recommend The Safe Place.”—Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

“[A] mix of romantic escapism and gothic menace. Ruth Ware fans may want to check this one out.”—Publishers Weekly

“Downes' debut novel is a slow burn of a story with Emily picking up on snippets of conversations as a breadcrumb trail leads her to an astounding conclusion. A great read for those looking for a side of mystery with their women's fiction.”—Booklist

About the Creators

The Shadow House

The Shadow House


The Shadow House
The Shadow House