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Anna Downes is back with another exhilarating psychological thriller. Tight as a drum and propelled by compelling characters, The Shadow House is published just a year after Anna’s bestselling debut The Safe Place. The Shadow House’s themes of parental anxiety and the struggle of finding your equilibrium during chaos will resonate widely. At its heart this is a book about working our way through fear, towards hope and healing – timeless themes that have never been more relevant. Booksellers will be supported to sell The Shadow House by a tailored marketing campaign to cut through lockdown disruptions.


The bones come first. A gift, but nothing wanted. Next, a doll:
a likeness, a promise. And the blood marks the choice. It finds a
face, and then you know.
Help. I need help. That’s what he said; I remember it clearly.
Voices in the night, and footsteps, soft and slow on a carpet
of green, on the grassy path that goes up to the blue sky and the
diamond moon and the place where the birds fly north. That’s
where it happened.
A noise … continue reading


Book trailer:




In support of the 28 September release of The Shadow House, Affirm Press has prepared a major marketing and publicity campaign. Emulating the tense nature of the novel, the campaign will be focused on parental fear of technology and screen addiction.

  • The Safe Place has sold 16k+ on Bookscan, making Anna Downes a rare debut author success story during lockdown
  • A crime thriller straight out of the top drawer, already with a major US publishing deal, this book will consolidate Anna as the latest hot Aussie crime writer
  • Large-scale digital advertising campaign with The Guardian and Better Reading’s full monty treatment, Chat 10 Looks 3 advertising package
  • Anna oozes charisma and enthusiasm, was a successful actor in the UK and is a brilliant publicity performer
  • Major media campaign touching on themes of parental anxiety, postnatal depression and raising and protecting sons in a technology infused world
  • Major digital events tour with fellow Affirm Press thriller darling, Christian White

Combined reach: 11 million+


About the book

When single mother Alex flees her abusive relationship and moves with her teenage son and baby girl to a rural ecovillage, she thinks she’s made the best decision of her life. Pine Ridge is idyllic: the off-grid lifestyle and remote location are perfect, and the community is welcoming – mostly. Charmed by its magnetic founder, Kit, and the natural beauty of the former farmland, Alex settles easily into her new home.

But her arrival at Pine Ridge disturbs barely submerged secrets, and she’s shaken by a series of eerily familiar events that seem to be connected to the abandoned farmhouse on the hill. Alex realises that, in escaping her own shadowy past, she may have stumbled into someone else’s. And this time, there may be nowhere to run.

From international bestselling thriller writer Anna Downes,
The Shadow House lures you in and keeps you on edge at every turn.


About the author

Anna Downes grew up in Sheffield, UK. She studied drama at Manchester before winning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and moving to London to pursue an acting career that included credits in EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, and Dalziel and Pascoe, as well as a long-running stage production of The Dresser in London’s West End.

Anna’s bestselling debut novel, The Safe Place, was published simultaneously in Australia, the US and the UK in mid-2020. The Shadow House is her keenly anticipated second book. Anna now lives on the Central Coast with her husband and two children.

Praise for The Safe Place

‘The author is brilliant at keeping us on tenterhooks … It all comes together in a story that rattles the nerves.’
—Stephen Romei, The Australian

‘A total page-turner … She’s nailed it.’
—Annabel Crabb, Chat 10 Looks 3

‘Downes keeps the sense of foreboding building.’
The Washington Post




Contact us


Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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