Return To Harlech – Ruth Torjussen

Ruth Torjussen



I rarely get the chance to finish a book in a day or so, but both my son and partner had a nap on Sunday afternoon, so I grabbed my kindle and some snacks and settled in. 


When Tess arranges a weekend love trip back to husband Steve’s hometown, her secret plan to make a baby is not the only trap he is walking into… 

Tess and Steve are a dysfunctional couple in a rocky marriage. Despite this, Tess yearns for a baby more than a divorce and plans a secret conception during a trip to her husband’s hometown of Harlech. But when they get there, Steve is anything but horny. Instead, he begins to remember his supposed halcyon days of childhood with horrible clarity. He wasn’t the popular sports hero he thought he was. Now it seems his friends don’t want to know, and he has no memory of the enthusiastic locals who greet him.

A young girl comes to Tess in her dreams; is this her child trying to warn her? Or the child of the mysterious Anwen who has lent them the cottage?  With her hopes for pregnancy fading, she longs for a different future without her domineering husband, but can she survive without him? 

And can Steve survive his return to Harlech as the locals seek retribution for the crimes of his past?  


I have previously reviewed another of Ruth’s books here; this is completely different! Friends and neighbours was a lovely holiday-style book. This is for dark, stormy days in front of a fire with a stiff drink or a cup of coffee. 

Return to Harlech is a revenge thriller, but I have to say, I had the revenge bit down to the wrong person. I thought Tess would be the recipient of the revenge, and I would have liked to know more about her past. Steve Savage is a bully and probably narcissistic, and cannot wonder why none of his friends wants to see him on his return to Harlech other than two men; one from the year above and one from the year below. It struck me as odd, too; I’d be a rubbish detective!  Unfolding all the secrets and lies was a bit like a rollercoaster; you thought one final twist, and that was it, but Ruth just kept on going. 

I was lucky to get some time on Sunday afternoon to finish this book, and it was another one that I couldn’t seem to put down as I steamrolled my way to the end. I had to go back a few times as I’d missed important info in my haste to finish! Ruth suits this genre perfectly, the dialogue and settings were on point, and I enjoyed seeing everything come together at the end. 

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