Thursday, June 22, 2017

Need a Shivery, Chilling Tale For a Hot Summer Night? I've Got One For You ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Clare Martin and her husband, Jess, are desperately in need of a change.  When they're hired to be the caretakers of Riven House, a crumbling Hudson River Valley estate belonging to a beloved college professor, they're ecstatic.  Not only do they get to spend time with the man who mentored them both, but the peaceful setting couldn't be more perfect for two writers seeking inspiration.  Clare's praying the change of scenery will light a fire under Jess, who hasn't even started his second novel, the advance for which has already been spent. She's also hoping to restock their dwindling bank account while rekindling their dying marriage.  A tall order, but the bucolic setting seems capable of delivering everything Clare has ever wanted.

It's not long, though, before strange things start to happen.  Clare hears invisible babies crying in the night, sees wispy figures in the fog, and stumbles on creepy features in a house with a very disturbing history.  Either Clare is going crazy or Riven House is haunted.  The longer she stays, the more she suspects the former.  As the dream Clare embraced so thoroughly evolves into a terrifying nightmare, she'll discover shocking truths about Riven House's heartbreaking past, its current occupants, and her own upbringing.  With all its sinister secrets revealed, only one question remains: is Riven House possessed or is Clare?

I've enjoyed several of Carol Goodman's eerie mysteries, but her newest—The Widow's House—is my favorite so far.  Atmospheric and eerie, it's a spooky Gothic tale that gets creepier as its moves forward.  Although the plot builds slowly, the increasing intensity makes the novel impossible to put down.  Against my better judgment, I stayed up well past midnight to finish it and, yes, nightmares did ensue.  The Widow's House tells a depressing story, to be true, but it's also a compelling page turner that you won't be able to put down.  If you need a shivery tale to send chills down your spine on a scorching summer night, you can't go wrong with this one.

(Readalikes: Reminded me of other books by Carol Goodman as well as of Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, depictions of illegal drug use, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

6 comments:

  1. Ugh! You're always tempting me! If I don't check this one out, ill definitely check the author out.

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    1. My pleasure :) This is my favorite one of Goodman's. I also liked RIVER ROAD and THE GHOST ORCHID.

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  2. I like the sound of this one. Intriguing.

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    1. Goodman writes shivery tales that have lots of mystery and intrigue. She's not my absolute favorite writer of this kind of book, but I like her!

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  3. I'm so glad to know this one doesn't disappoint! I have it on hold at the library and will hopefully be getting it in a few weeks. I can't wait to read it. :)

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  4. Ooh, this sounds so creepy and good! I've not read any of Carole Goodman's books yet, but it sounds like I should be!
    Lauren @ Bookgirl Secrets

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