Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Vanishing-Wendy Webb

The Vanishing Wendy Webb Hyperion, Jan 21 2014, $15.99 ISBN 9781401341947 Three months ago in Chicago, novelist Julia Bishop’s husband Jeremy committed suicide when his Ponzi investment scheme collapsed. His death left his widow holding the bag of a myriad of lawsuits from irate investors and possible criminal charges of being his partner even while she claims she was unaware of his illegal endeavor. Though they never met before, Adrian Sinclair visits Julia at her home with an employment proposition that will enable her to escape the howling wolves wanting her blood. She accepts his job offer of companion to his aging mother at their Havenwood Estate in isolated northern Minnesota. Julia is amazed that Adrian’s mom is renowned horror author Amaris “the female Edgar Allan Poe” Sinclair, who reportedly died a decade ago; that Havenwood was the sight of a horrid eerie incident in 1875 involving a homicide and spiritualist Seraphina; and that spirits from that Reconstruction Era deadly event remain at the mansion with one of them insanely evil. Wendy Webb’s latest supernatural (see The Tale of Halcyon Crane and The Fate of Mercy Alban) is an exciting contemporary haunted house thriller starring a woman who thought as she left Chicago nothing could be worse until she meets the occupants of Havenwood. Although the key late twist feels unsatisfactory and implausible (even with ghosts), readers will enjoy this haunting modern day gothic. Harriet Klausner

No comments: