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. – Goodreads.com
This was a modern day Gothic horror story – young woman a new arrival at an old family estate, then the ghosts come out to greet the fresh meat.
Although I didn’t feel this book deserved a 5 star rating, I found it difficult to put down. Julia’s story immediately drew me in, but at times I questioned her decision-making process. I could almost believe her decision to accept Adrian’s job offer – it’s not like Julia was overwhelmed with options, but other times, she seemed to have the logic of a naive teenager who really should have known better.
Amaris Sinclair was a joy to read and added some humorous moments to the story. I loved her straightforward, love of life attitude.
The pacing was perfect and one of the reasons I was riveted to this book. There were highs, lows, revelations, plot twists, and white knuckle moments and a huge surprise at the end of the novel that made me want to go back and look for clues that would have indicated that outcome.
This is an excellent novel to curl up on the couch with and read on a snowy day – or rainy night. It’s definitely worthy of your time. The Vanishing is due to be released January 21, 2014.
This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.