Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote

undertowZena Johnson is beautiful, charming, and driven – and beguiling enough to separate Tom, a successful lawyer, from his wife and children.  After his divorce, Tom and Zena buy a cottage on the eastern coast of England, and seemingly have a perfect setup.  Or do they?

Several months later, Zena, a determined swimmer since childhood, goes for an evening swim in the ocean and doesn’t return.  A mother with her child and dog find Zena’s body washed up on a beach a few days later.

Tom remarries, this time to Carmen, and doesn’t tell her everything about this chapter of his past life.  As such, Carmen begins to have doubts about their supposedly idyllic relationship, particularly when she notices Tom’s peculiar behavior; behind his calm lawyer demeanor is an unpleasant temper.

Carmen delves into Tom’s past with as much secrecy as she can muster, and what she finds gets increasingly unnerving.  And Zena, dead for three years, haunts Carmen’s dreams and thoughts.

Undertow brings the Rebecca motif into the modern age.  Tense and nervy, the book will have you doubting Carmen’s sanity as she skirts danger and finds help from some unlikely sources.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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