The Paradise Trees by Linda Huber
He had found exactly the right spot in the woods. A little clearing, green and dim, encircled by tall trees. He would bring his lovely Helen here… This time, it was going to be perfect. When Alicia Bryson returns to her childhood home in a tiny Yorkshire village, she finds her estranged father frail and unable to care for himself. Her daughter Jenny is delighted at the prospect of a whole summer playing in the woods at the bottom of the garden, but as soon as Alicia sets foot in Lower Banford, strange and disturbing memories begin to plague her. What happened in her father’s house, all those years ago? But coping with the uncertainty and arranging Bob's care plan aren’t Alicia’s only problems. Unknown to her, she has a stalker. Someone is watching, waiting, making plans of his own. To him, Alicia and Jenny are his beautiful Helens… and they should be in Paradise. 'An emotionally intelligent thriller - a little gem of a book.' --Caro Ramsay , International best-selling author 'Menace crackles through the prose in Linda Huber's disturbing thriller The Paradise Trees.' --We Love This Book 'I was gripped by the incredible writing style; the ability to keep the reader guessing and the love that the family share... I am glad I read this book.' --Newbooks Magazine A psychological page-turner, perfect for fans of Linda Green, Alex Marwood and Sophie Hannah
About Linda Huber
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys, a rescue dog, and a large collection of goldfish and guinea pigs. Linda now lives in Switzerland, in a little town on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance. Her debut psychological suspense novel The Paradise Trees was published in 2013, and was followed by The Cold Cold Sea, The Attic Room, Chosen Child, Ward Zero, Baby Dear, and Death Wish. Linda has also had over 50 short stories and articles published, some of which can be read in The Saturday Secret, a charity collection of short (feel-good) stories.
I really enjoyed 'The Paradise Trees' which evoked a magical description of this secret place in the woods that could could both enchant a child and dupe her as prey to the most evil of men. Alicia Bryson and her eight year old daughter Jenny journeys back to her father's home after many years. Her father, Bob, now has dementia and is cared for by his sister Margaret and Alicia has come home duty-bound to lend a hand. However, Alicia has her own demons to conquer and memories of her father's abuse come flooding back to her. Memories that have remained buried at the back of her mind. There is another demon out there in the woods, waiting and watching to take his chance to prey upon Jenny, and then to take Alicia. He wants to lure Jenny to his special place in the woods amongst the Paradise Trees and when then send her on to Paradise. As always with Linda Huber, good believable characters, great sense of place, and a twist or two in the plot what more could I want from a psychological thriller?