Chardelia Foss and the River of Fear

cfatrof thrill 3d“My fate may be a pool or a puddle, a sea or a soup, a rain-cloud or a river, a lake or a long bath. I am water. If you let me, I will carry you everywhere.”

Chardelia Foss and the River of Fear is an engrossing romantic mystery thriller set in a gothic school in the North East of England.

Fifteen year-old student Chardelia is growing up too fast. Her hometown Amberleigh, a small seaside community, is being threatened. Riddled with dramatic cliffs, gothic castles and abbeys, scenic waterfalls and rivers, picturesque cobbles and lanes, Chardelia would do anything to protect Amberleigh. What is worse, she has a secret none of her classmates know about, as well as a concealed crush on Danny Canterbury. However, Danny is infatuated with Janna Chisely, and too busy to notice Chardelia.

When best friend Amanita Walmer starts a school newspaper in her ambition to be a journalist, Danny struggles with how he can make himself seem worthy to Janna. But as sinister episodes shake the school, the adolescent Danny finds himself at the centre of a destructive plot involving first dates and trigonometry, bombs and mysterious underground caverns. As teachers around Amberleigh begin to mysteriously disappear and die, and explosions rock the school in an apparent terrorist attack, Danny becomes increasingly fascinated by the enigmatic Chardelia. Can she help him rescue the truth? How close will Danny come to understanding Chardelia’s true feelings before it is too late? Who is perpetrating the attack within the school? Faced with saving Janna or Chardelia, who will Danny choose?

Amid the terror of moonlit dances, first kisses and swimming lessons, comes terror of a wholly unexpected kind. Chardelia Foss and the River of Fear is a startling debut that marks the pain of first love within the often dark skies of school.

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Reviews for Chardelia Foss and the River of Fear:

A deeply layered journey into the tumultuous world of adolescence wrapped up in a web of mystery.
I found this an enjoyable read. The plethora of ideas and themes explored is admirable and often written with poetic grace. It builds up to an emotionally satisfying climax which makes one intrigued to read the next book in the series. Overall this is an enjoyable read and accurate account of the trials and tribulations of growing up which takes me back to my own adolescence. I’m looking followed to the next installment in the series.

Matthew Smith

An accomplished foray into the confusing world of adolescence
In this novel Dominic introduces us to an ensemble cast of well-drawn characters, and stunning locations that are described in such prosaic detail that they become characters in their own right. We join Danny Canterbury and his classmates as they attempt to navigate the trials and tribulations of mid-adolescence, triggering long-forgotten (or suppressed) memories in those of use who left those years far behind us. The clarity and honesty with which these experiences are written shows a deep understanding of those almost universally difficult years by the author. It builds to a satisfyingly thrilling climax, while also managing to leave the reader keen to learn more about these characters and their lives – it’s a good job further volumes in the series are already available. If you want a story to transport you into a world that is all at once real and fantastic, contemplative and thrilling, dark and comedic, you will enjoy (and learn from) this novel.

Laura Sweeney

Great book, can’t wait for the rest of the series!
Great book, with realistic characters and a good understanding of secondary school atmospheres! I loved the character development, and felt like they portrayed a real friendship group well. The story is laid out well and kept my interest throughout with a few thought out twists and turns.
Katie Harper

‘The scenario is intriguing and the characters are realistic. It feels like I know them in real life. But the best part are the mysteries! Dominic Jericho keeps me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next!’
Andressa Andrade (

A book of two halves
We are introduced to a cast of wonderful characters, students and teachers, in this novel set in the 4th year of a school. Our central character is discovering the politics and nuances of young love. The dialogue is very authentic and we empathise with the players. The writing style is ambitious with multiple references, allusions and threads, not always working but not detracting from the central thrust of the novel. Midway through a coming of age story it changes to a thriller with plot twists and turns leading to quite an adventure and exciting conclusion leaving the listener desiring more. Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book, looking forward to the next in the series.
Simon Gibson