ARC Review: The Safe Place by Anna Downes


Emily Proudman has been offered the chance of a lifetime – leave her messy London life, move to a beautiful estate in France and help her boss’s wife take care of their daughter. It seems like the perfect opportunity to start again.

But once there, Emily soon starts to suspect that her charismatic new employers aren’t telling her the whole truth. That there are even dangerous secrets hidden beneath the glamorous facade.

Why have the family been moved to this isolated house so far from home? Why does her bosses’ daughter refuse to speak or be touched? Why are there whispers in the night?

The only problem is, the more Emily knows, the less chance there is she will ever be able to leave . . .


Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC of this book. It’s been a while since I have read a thriller and after I’d read the synopsis and taken one look at the cover photograph, I was completely intrigued. I’m so glad I read this book, it was so enjoyable and I was hooked all the way through to the very last page. I devoured it in only a few days.

The setting is gorgeous; a beautiful house in France, situated in large grounds and with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. The author has a lovely writing style and a talent for describing in detail the amazing scenery, wonderful descriptions of Querencia and trips to the local food market. I was completely enveloped in this beautiful home and its surroundings. It’s sheer escapism and I could just imagine soaking up the sun, poolside, with a chilled glass of wine and tantalising wafts of food coming from the poolside kitchen. The descriptions of food were truly mouth watering and I wanted to hop on the nearest plane to France and buy cheese and wine.

“The sun shone down on her bare shoulders as she wandered around the stalls with a list in her hand, breathing in the heady combination of smells: fresh bread, saucisson, cheese, seafood, caramel.”

I really liked the format of this book. It’s essentially from Emily and Scott’s alternative narrative with some snippets of the prior history filled in from Nina. The characters are all intriguing and interesting and their personality quirks and faults are portrayed really well.

The author creates a great sense of the atmosphere from calm, peaceful sunny days to more suspenseful and dark moments. The pacing is perfect, it builds slowly, with lots of unpredictable twists and turns, to a suspenseful and satisfactory conclusion. I pondered all the way through how on earth this was going to all end it was all wrapped up adequately.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I didn’t want it to end. A gripping and engrossing read and the perfect summer suspense novel. This is an amazing debut novel from a promising new author, who I definitely want to read more of.

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
UK Publication date: 16 July 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please give me a follow on Instagram . Happy reading.

Karen ~

Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

9 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Safe Place by Anna Downes

  1. Great review! I saw the cover of this book a few days ago and have been wanting to read it ever since. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I will come back and we can swap reviews when I’m done. I dont have anyone to talk adult psychological thrillers with… we will have to compare arcs!

        Liked by 1 person

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