By John Quick
I think that in order to have a good haunted house story you have to have a rich and well defined setting. I mean the haunted apartment or the haunted hotel room just don’t do the same things for me as that sprawling 4 story and a tower room do. The setting kept me going. I have heard others describe this as a slow burn, and I didn’t feel that whatsoever. I am guessing that I was so enthralled in the setting during the slow parts that I didn’t even notice.
Kat is coming off of a divorce that was brought on by a soul crushing family tragedy. She buys the Alston house to rebuild her life alone. The house of course has a vicious, disturbing back story that makes her own personal history look like a walk in the park.
The thing that stood out for me about this book was the depth of story. There were multiple different themes that I felt could have been books in their own right.
1. The story starts with a certain type of haunting ( I will call it phantom painting ) – I could have done with more of that.
2. The story of Kat’s personal tragedy. I don’t know that I expected any resolution as far as how something like that could have happened like it did or who actually did the thing, ( haha at the vagueness) but I wanted it.
3. The history of the Alston family was a story on its own. As a matter of fact these characters were extremely more haunting for me in the bits about their real life than in the bits about their afterlife.
4. The involvement of the townspeople. You know the drill, there is something sinister going on out there in the Alston house and the townspeople are in on it or in on the cover up. I wanted some more of that as well.
So, give me a book – leave me wanting more. That’s a job well done.
Kat doesn’t really come off as a “damsel in distress”, but for me it was right on the verge of that. She is strong and she fights to stay in the house, but it did feel that she could not do this on her own. I wonder how it would read to female readers.
It was a page turner all the way through. There is no doubt about that. We have a multi-layered haunting, both malignant and benign. The haunting is manifested in many different forms. We have a setting that at least for me was rich enough that I didn’t even recognize if there were slow spots. We have trickery and conspiracy on the human side of things to keep you guessing. We have a budding relationship between Kat and a deputy that does not have to resort to cheap sex scenes. I appreciated that last part, because the lack of those scenes actually surprised me.
Another really enjoyable Silver Shamrock release.
Review by Well Read Beard
I received a copy from the publisher for review consideration.