Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Seance by John Harwood

Part Of The Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

Constance Langton grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for Constance's sister,  the child she lost.  Constance takes her to a seance:  perhaps she will find comfort form beyond the grave.  But the meeting has tragic consequences.  Constance is left alone, her only legacy a bequest that will blight her life.

For Constance's bequest comes in two parts:  a house and a mystery.  Years before, a family disappeared at Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside with a sinister reputation.  Now the Hall belongs to Constance.  And she must descend into the darkness at the heart of the Wraxford Mystery to find the truth, even at the cost of her life.

I can't remember who's review I first saw that made me want to read this book.  All I know is that after reading that review, I knew I had to give it a go.  Of course I think it helped that I was on a Gothic fix at the time, so it sounded even better.  So to whomever you are, I thank you for reviewing this book and convincing me that I needed to read it.

It's going to be rather hard for me to say anything about the book without giving away plot points that need to be discovered on your own, but I do want to say how much I appreciated the author's ability to craft a tightly woven story, saturated in fear.  Every single character lives in a constant state of fear.  They are scared to live, scared to die, scared of what's around the corner, scared of being discovered; it's a wonder any of the characters are able to function.  What I loved though was that fear never overwhelmed me as a reader, it didn't bog down the book.  It allowed just the right amount of emotion to seep off the page and get me emotionally involved with what was going on.

Now I'm not saying this was a perfect book, because I did have a few issues with characterization, but nothing that detracted from the overall story.  It was a nice Gothic break form all the vintage mysteries I've been reading.


bermudaonion said...

It sounds like there's just enough fear in the book to make it tense but not enough to creep readers out. I may have to try this book this fall.

Mystica said...

A Gothic break. That sounds something that would be good for me as well. Have been reading history and mystery/murders for quite a while.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I liked this one, but didn't love it. That was several years ago I read it.

bouigiehippie said...

Not a gothic fan but good review.

Staci said...

I love gothic and this one sounds good to me!

Lauren Hairston said...

Sounds interesting! I'll definitely add it to my TBR list.