Reviewed By Heather
I love mystery/suspense set in the UK. There's something about them that brings to mind Agatha Christie novels set in England; it always makes me feel nostalgic for her wonderful work.
"Those We Fear" is set in Scotland. The main character, Maria is in the United States Witness Protection Program (the reason we slowly piece together throughout the course of the novel). She has fled her native Boston to take on a position as an Au pair for a rich family in an remote area of Scotland. The first family member she meets is Jonathan, the much older brother of her charges.He drives her to the estate, not really giving her too much background on the weirdness she is about to encounter. However, the reader soon learns that Jonathan's mother, Lady Kate, has died recently and his father has remarried a much younger woman. The younger children are home from boarding school and are having problems coping with their mother's death.
(At this point, I was expecting that the younger children would be brats, but they seemed to warm to Maria quite quickly, as did Jonathan.)
Soon after Maria arrives, strange supernatural like happenings begin to unnerve her...water left running, a mysterious cloaked figure, disappearing paintings... Maria is not sure what to think of her surrounding and as her life suddenly seems to be in jeopardy, she makes it her business to find out what is really going on and how the lady of the house actually died.
I really enjoyed this book mostly because it did remind me so much of an Agatha Christie novel with it's unhinged, yet stereotypical, cast of characters. I found myself examining all the clues and the red herrings eagerly trying to figure out what was real and what was imagined. If you are a fan of Christie's style, I think you would really enjoy this suspenseful, fast paced Victoria Griffith novel.