How better to round up my Historical Saturday than by publishing a review of a historical novel? I’ve met the author Sally Spedding earlier this year at the Tenby Book Fair and have been curious about her as a writer ever since. I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few weeks back as part of the Welsh Wednesdays Interviews. It’s been rewarding to find such a great writer behind her fascinating and likable persona and although the book is only partially set in the past, I’m sure it might be of interest to many historians here all the same.
“Cold Remains” by Sally Spedding is a gripping and at times frightening read. Very dark and bleak in places it tells a complex tale, blending a narrative from 1946 with one in 2009, both taking place at the same property. In the present storyline a man joins a writer’s retreat in Wales and gets on the trail of an old mystery.
Very gradually the tension and suspense creep into your veins. Spedding understands how to work her way into your mind.
I picked up this book at a book fair in Wales, eager to read literature set in my new home, and I certainly was not disappointed. The novel portrays language and people in realistic ways, I could empathise with the ‘outsider’ character many times.
The actual story is really twisted and has plenty of surprises for you in store. If you like noir then this should not disappoint you. An excellent read with some great local and historical flair.
Official blurb for the book: When Jason Robbins arrives at the eerie Heron House in deepest Carmarthenshire for a writing course, he soon meets its two weird servants who seem to exercise a sinister power over their scheming employer, Monty Flynn. Another newcomer is Helen Jenkins, a cook, to whom Jason is instantly attracted. Together they discover what dangers really lurk behind those ivy-clad walls; how the terrible post-war past bleeds into the present when the tormented soul of the young woman haunting them will stop at nothing to have her story told. But is the ghost’s version of events to be trusted? And at what cost to Jason and Helen when they attempt to find out the truth?