From award-winning novelist Wendy Webb comes a spine-tingling, modern-day haunted house story set on Lake Superior.
Grace Alban has spent 20 years away from her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior - for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother’s unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter home, she finds more than just her own personal demons haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House. Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House during which a world-famous author took his own life and Grace’s aunt disappeared without a trace. That night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years, and Grace realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the hidden passages of Alban House. Her mother was intending to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died. Could it have been murder, or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? With the help of the disarmingly kind - and attractive - Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.
Wendy Webb has woven a suspenseful mystery that skillfully skirts the boundary between what is paranormal and what is psychological.
Wendy Webb is editor-in-chief of Duluth-Superior, an upscale lifestyle magazine. A journalist with two decades of experience, she lives in Minnesota.
©2013 Wendy Webb (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
This narrator has got to go! She's great as a crime-fiction/ detective story narrator, but the tone of voice she uses is just too authoritative, too sarcastic for this story. I needed to shut it off at times because it irritated me so.
The story is good, but not very original. If you have read Kate Morton's "House at Riverton", "Forgotten Garden" and/or John Harwood's "The Ghost Writer" you will have heard this one already. The author has either an uncanny ability to have dreamed up the same scenarios as these three books employ, or she has lifted them. I will give her the benefit of the doubt.
One thing I cannot forgive her for is her characterization. The protagonist and her daughter are unbearable. The daughter comes across as 10 rather than 16. No 16 year old acts as she does. And the mother is just ridiculous with all her "honey" this and "honey" that. Sooo much treacle, so cloying. I rolled my eyes a lot during this book.
Also baffled how the editor let her get away with using "a sense of dread" SO MANY TIMES throughout this book.
Overall a good story that kept me interested, but not a great work of fiction.
This book reminded me of the Nancy Drew novels I used to love as a kid. I would call it creepy, mystery light. It was a good story with very tight editing. But, I would have made the main character the daughter instead of the mother so that it would have been considered part of the young adult genre.
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