Then Vanishing by Wendy Webb.
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. (Synopsis from Goodreads).
I received a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I do not know where to start, I LOVED this book. I do love this genre just don’t read it very often. It was everything I wanted it be and more. At first I was comparing it to Kate Morton and Diane Setterfield, then as I kept going I realised, I should not compare because Wendy Webb is an excellent storyteller and is as good as the Queens of this genre. Hail the new Queen.
It was fast paced, exciting, full of twists and turns, with lovable characters (mmm Drew). The story kept me guessing the whole way through, when I thought I had figured something out, a new snippet of intrigue was revealed and I had no clue which was up again. The ending was fantastic, I knew there was going to be a fantastic reveal, I just could not work out exactly what. I never expected what happened though.
I would read this book again. I will be buying her two other novels that are already out.
5 stars out of 5
Step by Step Overview
0%- Looks like a good mystery, featuring mansions, family secrets, someone who is thought to be dead is alive. Apparently family secrets in books is Wendy Webb’s specialty. Really looking forward to reading this book.
10% – I like the prologue, set in the 1800’s, just wondering how it relates to the rest of the story. Ah, is that why it is called The Vanishing?Or is that just what we are meant to believe just now? I am expecting some dark mysteries.
20%- It’s reminding me of Kate Morton and Diane Setterfield. Possibly because they are the only authors I have read in this genre or because they are the Queens of this genre. They are giving Julia permission to snoop around the house, I would. I love books that have stories within stories. Adding ghost story to the mix of family drama and mysteries. I am hooked.
30% – Mrs Sinclair is a great character, full of life and energy. Yet her home and herself are oozing with mystery.
40% – A phone call from her dead husband- beyond creepy.
50% –Who is the little girl? I thought at first it might be Julia as a child but not sure how that would work. It could be a sister of hers. Or could they all be ghosts? Could she have died in the fire? Maybe the traumatic event that put Mrs Sinclair in the mental hospital happened in the room with the scary seance painting.
60% – I think somehow it’ll have been Julia that was in the mental hospital 10 years ago.
70% – I find it funny how practical Julia is, in the middle of the hauntings she is look for a fire detector. It’s endearing. Were Andrew and the physic meant to be together for ever and history is righting itself?
80% – No answers yet but lots more questions. I am hoping for a spectacular ending, lots of fireworks.
90%- We finally find out who the little girl is and why Julia can see so many ghosts. Is she the physic who killed Adrian’s daughter, why did they bring her there? To kill her?
100% – Wow what an ending. I do not know what to say. I could not tear my eyes away. Is there another mystery that we are not going to get the answers to? Did she go into the future? Will there be another book on this? I loved that she and Drew were happy together.
Who would I recommend this book to?
Anyone who likes drama, mystery or horror. Fans of Kate Morton and Diane Setterfield. If you like a ghost story with a twist this is for.
Available on the 21st Jan 2014