The Motive – The Inspiration for the Location of The Hidden Wife

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Amanda Reynolds reveals the house that inspired the setting of her latest gripping psychological thriller, THE HIDDEN WIFE.

Posted on March 28, 2019 in The Motive
Tags: Amanda Reynolds, Inspiration, The Hidden Wife

A Mysterious Manor – The Inspiration for the Location of The Hidden Wife

Clinging to the side of the Cotswold hills there’s a tiny hamlet, not much more than a few cottages and a post-box. Up there, behind the ancient church and rambling lane, lies my inspiration for the location of THE HIDDEN WIFE. Darkened windows through the branches of bare-limbed trees in winter, chimney stacks and eaves rising above the cut hedges in Spring. A manor house, huge and yet concealed. I’ve never ventured beyond the lane, not cheeky enough to find the gate and walk my dog up the drive. And I don’t want to. Its mystique is something I’d rather remain intact. Those snatched glimpses are enough. The dead-eyed windows, the remoteness, which I exaggerated for my story, and the mystery.

I’ve watched it for years, heard stories of the various owners, researched its provenance and found a true and tragic tale, but the people I placed in there are fictitious, the curtains at the mullioned windows all mine. Because as I gazed up, I wondered if that house, so aspirational, idyllic even, could also feel isolated and bleak, especially if you were a young woman, married to a reclusive, older man.

Julia Blake injected vitality back into my version of that manor, Brooke House, but despite a programme of renovations and the systematic makeover of her older husband, dissatisfaction remained. Then, on the night of their tenth wedding anniversary, she disappeared. When Seren, a young reporter, comes to interview Max nine months later, she looks out of those same windows and shivers, watching the sway of the distant cypress trees and wondering how Julia must have felt when she lived there and why she left.

If indeed, that was what happened.


Amanda Reynolds’ THE HIDDEN WIFE publishes in ebook on 31st March and in paperback in July 2019

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