An atmospheric mystery thriller set in a small British town with a haunting history.
Claire Seeber's The Parents follows the parents of a local soccer league in a town where witches used to be lynched and killed.
The saga kicks off when Alex, moves to the little town from the USA with her son, after the tragic death of her husband. With plenty of secrets to conceal, she hopes to keep a low profile until her late husband's estate is finalized.
There's no such luck in small towns where everyone knows everyone else. When her son joins the soccer team, she finds herself thrust into the messy lives of the other parents. Meanwhile, a gossip blog reveals the deepest secrets of the other parents. Who is behind the mystery blog and do they know her secrets?
Claire builds a world that walks the edges of a modern gothic novel without actually tipping over the edge. I wish it did, though. The author built such a mystic presence with the folklore, superstitions, and rituals in the little town but never actually dove into the supernatural. I, however, wanted more. I kept hoping the myths and legends would pay off and it left me a little disappointed in the end.
With a well-rounded cast of characters, the plot moves swiftly and keeps you engaged throughout. It's a decent story, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys atmospheric mysteries without the spooky elements.
Final thoughts: If Claire Seeber ever writes a novel in this world, I'd pick it up for sure.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for sending me an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.