Friday, 12 June 2015

House of Shadows by Misha M Herwin

Reviewer: JW Hicks author of Rats

What we thought: This haunting story will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Jo hasn’t recovered from the miscarriage that happened a year back. She grieves for her lost child, and despairs of the distance that has grown between her and her husband. Feeling that her artistic creativity had died with the child she seeks sanctuary in The Granary, a studio her husband created in an outbuilding in the grounds of Kingsfield, the Georgian manor house near the council estate where she was raised; a house with a history of supernatural happenings, unsolved disappearances and murders.

Jo is convinced that the peace and quiet of her studio will spark her lost creativity and enable her to paint again. However, the Granary proves to be far from the sanctuary she craves. As soon as she arrives she sees the ghostly figure of a young girl in a blue dress and hears the haunting wail of an invisible child. At first she fears her mind is affected by the loss of her own child, but when she experiences terrifying spirit visitations and is be-shadowed by a malicious entity, she is convinced that something inhabits Kingsfield, something spectral, intent on revenge and that she is that spirit’s target. Her terror revives long-hidden memories of an unearthly childhood friendship and a blood-oath unwittingly made. Now, in the present day, Jo must confront the dire consequences of that careless action.

House of Shadows, an intriguing mystery story, set in the present and venturing into the past, is a thrilling, unsettling, scarily-tense read, telling how the past affects the future and how strong emotions spear through time to cause mayhem. The tension ramps up and up leading to a terrifying, nail-biting, edge-of-the seat-climax.

Herwin’s characters, whether evil or good, are never two dimensional, never merely black and white but constitute all the hues and shades in-between. Her skillful writing informs readers of the whys and wherefores of each character’s forming, and her narrative wends and flows perfectly as it leads the reader through tension and torment to a terrifying conclusion.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: The Appalachian Novels of Sharyn McCrumb and The Charter by Gillian Hamer.

Avoid if you don’t like: Characters being inhabited by malign spirits.

Ideal accompaniments: A glass or two of something strong enough to fortify your spirit.

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Available from Amazon

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