Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead.
When she arrives at the Sinclairs’ enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her “too-good-to-be-true” position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.
3 out of 5 stars
I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.
This is about a woman who is invited to live at an old mansion in the snow covered forest of Minnesota near Lake Superior. The setting was fantastic (Lake Superior is definitely the Greatest Lake) and I loved imagining the mansion surrounded by snow and woods.
This book totally hooked me and I had trouble putting it down. Page after page, almost right up to the last one, I was excited to see what came next. The build up was sort of a psychological thriller, in that sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was a ghost story, or if it was all in the main character’s head.
As the remaining pages dwindled, and the mystery had not yet been solved, I grew concerned over whether it would be solved at all. Then, suddenly, the mystery was revealed and resolved and the book was over. It left me scratching my head, wondering how everything was tidied up so quickly. It took the entire book for the main character to figure out what was going on and only a few pages to fix it? That doesn’t make sense to me.
Then there’s the epilogue, which throws the ending out the window so that now I don’t know what was going on during the whole story.
Overall it was well written and an enjoyable read, but a frustrating ending.
About the Author
WENDY WEBB’s novels are mysteries about long-buried family secrets, set in big, old haunted houses on the Great Lakes.
A longtime journalist, Wendy lives in Minnesota.