gothic

Beware the Wild

By Natalie C. Parker
5
Rated by Jennifer R.
Mar 18, 2015

In her debut novel, Natalie C. Parker brings together a unique southern gothic mystery in the thrilling Beware the Wild. One day, after a particularly awful fight, Sterling's brother Phin runs into the mysterious swamp outside their home and never returns. Instead, a strange girl named Lenora May emerges and the entire town (including Sterling's family) treat her as if she's always been Sterling's sister and that a boy named Phin has never existed. Only Sterling remembers her brother and she is determined to get him back from the dark swamp. 
I never knew where Parker was going to take the

Beyond the Grave by Pierre Magnan

0
Rated by Susan B.
May 27, 2010

beyond-the-grave.jpegThe enigmatic Seraphin Monge, the central character of The Murdered  House, reappears in this sequel for only the first third as a living character, but his presence pervades the story and the actions of the two women who were most in love with him.  This is a dark, noirish tale, set in Provence and so atmospheric one would think it is the middle of the seventeenth century, but it is actually set right after the first World War, and continues through the end of the Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale.  Magnan has been called the master of Provencal gothic, and he evokes the peasant superstitions, the

Black Rabbit Hall

By Eve Chase
4
Rated by Roxanne B.
Apr 2, 2016

Black Rabbit Hall is a debut novel by journalist Eve Chase. Londoners Lorna, a school teacher, and her fiancé, Jon, a carpenter, are in Cornwall looking at wedding venues. They arrive at Pencraw Hall (or Black Rabbit Hall as known to the locals). Although the manor house and grounds are in a state of disrepair, Lorna is entranced and seems to feel a kinship to it. The elderly owner, Mrs. Alton, is somewhat mysterious, and lends a gothic air to the story.  Lorna’s visit to Black Rabbit Hall turns into an extended visit on the pretense that she will help Mrs. Alton with promoting her estate as

Black Rabbit Hall

By Eve Chase
5
Rated by Catherine G.
Apr 8, 2016

The mansion, Black Rabbit Hall, at times feels like the main character of this story. It's a second home for the Alton family in Cornwall, England in the 1960's. It's much loved but crumbling; an aging home with wings and turrets and windows that seem to watch you while you're outside. Set near the water with its own private cliffs and beaches, it also has a path that leads into the woods and seems purposely designed to get you lost.  


Two alternating stories reveal the secrets at Black Rabbit Hall. The first, Lorna and Jon, present day, are searching for a place to have their wedding

Jun 6, 2010

haunting.jpgSometimes, as a book reviewer, it's best to just get out of the way as quickly as possible. Such is the case with this review of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, one of the great ghost novels in the English language.

I want to quote from the book because the opening is, in my opinion, one of the finest passages in the history of supernatural fiction. Before I do, I'll just say this: Shirley Jackson was a brilliant writer and conceptualist, reading any of her books is like being hypnotized, and furthermore, she stands up to multiple readings.

Now on to that opening paragraph, which

Oct 13, 2011

Billed as a modern-day Rebecca, this gothic tale of love and mystery is set in a crumbling villa in Provence.  Eve and Dom, after a whirlwind romance, have moved in and begun the slow process of renovation.   The summer is glorious but at the advent of cooler weather Eve begins to have suspicions about Dom’s past and the disappearance or death of his ex-wife.  Three young women go missing in the area.  Seemingly insignificant, unexplainable events heighten Eve’s senses – a strange light and a shadowy figure in the night.  When bones are found during the rebuilding of the swimming pool and

Mar 21, 2011

This haunting tale transports the reader into the foggy mists of an English country house that hides many layers of secrets. The heroines of the story are Vida Winter, the most popular novelist of her time; and Margaret Lea, the sheltered bookseller Winter has hired to write the story of her life. Margaret is mesmerized by Vida’s telling of a life of gothic strangeness. At the center is the Angelfield family – beautiful and willful Isabelle, her feral twins, a ghost, a governess and a devastating fire. Margaret is struck by an odd parallel between her story and Vida’s and together they face

Mar 20, 2012

What a strange little book about a strange little family in a strange little town. When the reader meets the Blackwoods, they are reduced to three:  Constance, the oldest sister; Merricat the younger; and Uncle Julian, an old invalid. They live in seclusion, ostracized in their once-regal castle minus the family who were all poisoned six years prior.  

While Constance was tried and acquitted of the murders, the remaining Blackwoods do nothing to sway the accusatory opinions of the townsfolk. In fact, the Blackwoods tease, torment, and encourage speculation in their neighbors when opportunity