Wow! Theresa’s on fire lately! Here is another fantastic review from our resident horror expert and it sounds AMAZING!
Linden Manor (Published May 2014)
“Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body?”
All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme The Scottish Bride sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it.
But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last.”
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Cavendish is clearly a master storyteller, as I was so engrossed in this short read and was dumbfounded when it was all over. But in a good way. Kind of like when you realize you just inhaled a whole chocolate bar. Part of the reason is that we get so much characterization and setting in just a few words. The author makes every detail count. And, she makes us care about Lesley Carpenter in the process, which is a definite plus.
One of the aspects that works so well here is that we are given multiple reasons why the protagonist must investigate Linden Manor. Most importantly, there’s the nursery rhyme Lesley hears as a child that’s always been in the back of her head. Not fully understanding it has always felt like a loose end. Furthermore, when your mother asks you to steer clear of the place at all costs, there’s the appeal of the forbidden. That natural interest is already there when Lesley finds herself suddenly divorced and wanting to carve out a life of her own. She does this by researching Linden Manor for her degree at a local college with the encouragement of her professor. The reason I’m mentioning all of this is Cavendish gives the reader multiple motivations for Lesley to put herself in danger by going to a haunted location. All the groundwork is skillfully laid out.
This is the point where I don’t want to tell you too much more, for fear of spoiling the reading experience. What Lesley finds out is not only supernaturally gripping, involving a dark past of both the land and the previous owners of the manor, but becomes extremely personal. Lesley has profound paranormal experiences during her stay that seem to be unwilling to let her go. Will she come out unscathed? Will Cavendish write another installment of this story? I found myself wanting more, which is always a compliment to the craft of the novel. Also, when it’s such a short read, you can devour it in one sitting. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are into haunted houses, or unraveling intriguing mysteries.
My Rating… A
Available on Amazon