Category Archives: Nicola Cornick

Review: The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick

Title: The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Mystery, Supernatural Elements
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the bestselling author of House of Shadows and The Phantom Tree comes a spellbinding tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge—part history, part mystery—for fans of Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Barbara Erskine

London, 1765

Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.

Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…

250 Years Later…

When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can’t tell what is real and what is imaginary.

As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and its past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.


Weaving between past and present, The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick is a captivating mystery with slight romantic and supernatural elements.

In the present, Fenella “Fen” Brightwell  has returned to her home town to start over. She has been divorced from her abusive husband, Jake, for two years but she fears he will track her down.  When she receives a bequest from her grandmother, Fen’s sense of dread increases and she reverts to an old childhood habit.  With the unexpected help of her best friend’s brother Hamish Ross, Fen hopes to uncover information about the gown that the seems to have a hold over her. Before they can learn the truth, Fen finds herself in grave danger but will she escape the situation unscathed?

In the past, Lady Isabella Gerard is in an abusive marriage with her husband, Eustace. Following a severe beating after he gives her a beautiful gown, she and her lady’s maid, Constance, leave London for her country home.  Although Isabella has no plans to wear the gown, Constance brings it with them after she disobeys Eustace’s orders to destroy it. Upon their arrival, Isabella is consumed with painting and Constance plots a way to escape the Gerard family.  The situation takes a tragic turn that forever alters both Isabella and Constance’s lives.

The Woman in the Lake  is a very atmospheric novel that is fast-paced and engaging. The two story arcs are well-written and quite fascinating.  Each of the characters are vibrantly developed but not all of them are particularly likable. The gown is what ties the two storylines together, but  Nicola Cornick does not reveal the connection until the novel’s surprising conclusion. This entertaining story is quite enjoyable and I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy a dash of mystery, a hint of romance and a slight supernatural element.

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Filed under Contemporary, Graydon House, Historical, Mystery, Nicola Cornick, Rated B, Review, Romance, Supernatural Elements, The Woman in the Lake