Mary Coles and her husband, Graham, have just moved to a cottage on the edge of a small village. The house hasn't been lived in for years, but they are drawn to its original features and surprisingly large garden, which stretches down into a beautiful apple orchard. It's idyllic, remote, picturesque: exactly what they need to put the horror of the past behind them.
"Not What I expected."
While researching her next book, Julie Myerson finds herself in a graveyard, looking for traces of a young woman who died nearly two centuries before. As a child in Regency England, Mary Yelloly painted an exquisite album of watercolors that uniquely reflected the world in which she lived. But Mary died at the age of 21, and when Julie comes across this album, she is haunted by the potential never realized. She is also reminded of her own child. Only days earlier, Julie and her husband locked their eldest son out of the family home.
What happens when every parent's worst nightmare comes true - and when the past is unwilling to be the past? Some memories are too powerful to live only in the past. During a ferocious storm, a red-haired stranger appears in the garden of a small farming cottage. Eliza and her parents take him in. But very soon, it's clear he has no intention of leaving. A century later, Mary and Graham have experienced every parent's worst nightmare.
Rachel and Dan - expecting their first baby and mourning the death of a close friend - want to go somewhere hot in January. When Dan produces a ring and tells her he's already booked a luxurious resort on Antigua, the holiday turns into a honeymoon. But Rachel's experience of the island soon turns from idyllic to disturbing. As furniture shifts and objects fly around, a waitress begs her to leave, and a fellow guest starts to frighten her, Rachel realises that something sinister is going on....
It was 9.22, the moment when everything stopped. First there was the burnign air, then came the darkness, the fire, and finally the frost. Now, in a frozen, wasted London, a woman - uncertain even of her own name - is fighting to stay alive. Along with a small group of fellow survivors, she takes refuge in the Building, an abandoned skyscraper in what was once the financial centre. But spectres stalk the empty offices and endless corridors, and soon visions of a forgotten world emerge, a world of broken love and betrayal....
A freezing room in a student house, a sagging mattress on the floor, two people kissing passionately. Twenty years later, Rosy returns, obsessively, to this scene. Having just lost a child in a terrible accident, her partner Tom has taken her to Paris to forget about things. When she wakes at dawn, Rosy decides to go for a walk in the snow. And there he is, sitting in the corner of a café she enters almost at random. They talk. He touches her. She turns away, and he is gone. Was he there?
It's the summer holidays - and there's a strange boy at the bottom of Flynn's garden. Soon, she and her wayward brother Sam are walking out of the house in the middle of a hot summer's night and crossing four fields to find him again.