Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Castle of Dark Shadows by Patty G Henderson

Nineteen year old Olivia Hampton is on her way to Dunraven Castle, the home of the Dunraven family. Olivia has been employed by Marion Dunraven to catalog and sort out her father Julian’s books in his vast library.

Olivia has been met at the station by Jack Griffen, the Dunraven coachman. When a mishap occurs on a lonely forest road en route for Dunraven, Olivia is left alone with only the horses and unknown shadows to keep her company. This is the beginning of her descent into a horror she’s never before experienced. Olivia will have to fight for her very existence and the woman she loves. Will she survive the downward spiral into murder and insanity?

When Olivia finally arrives at Dunraven Castle, she finds herself being stalked by the same nameless, faceless horror she’d experienced in the forest. What is going on? Why should she, Olivia, be a target?

The one thing that keeps Olivia at Dunraven Castle is Marion. Olivia has been madly attracted to her since her arrival. Can it be possible that Marion feels the same?

This is pure gothic romance and intrigue at it’s very best from the pen of the Queen of all things dark and delicious, Patty G Henderson. Patty has once again excelled herself with this book. Her writing as always, is superb. A page turner from the start right through to the finish. A book that kept me up into the wee small hours when things seem creepy anyhow. Good job I wasn’t alone when reading it.

I’m going to add in to my review something I don’t usually comment on. The book cover. I mainly buy ebooks, so I don’t get to see the cover in all it’s glory, other than when I purchase a book. But the cover on this book captured my eye. Even if I hadn’t known what the story was about after reading the synopsis, this delightful cover would have drawn me in right away. The cover is totally designed by Patty herself. Another of her many talents.

I love the two main characters in this book, Olivia and Marion. Both are multi dimensional and interact really well together throughout the story. They are bolstered by a splendid cast of minor characters all essential in progressing the story forward and to a climatic conclusion. All the characters are well written and even the baddies are ones I loved to detest.

Here we have the dark, brooding, foreboding, dusty old castle, described to the reader in such detail, that I totally lost myself and lived the story alongside of the characters.

This book goes a little beyond a run of the mill gothic romance. Woven intricately into the story is murder and madness. A madness that has taken over the Dunraven family and has mapped out their dismal existence. Marion wants more though. But will she be able to veer from the path the family has already taken? It’s interesting and quite shocking to see how the plot unfolds as all is slowly and painstakingly revealed.

I came to the end of this book all too soon. I was so sorry to finish such a wonderful story.

If you like a book that’s dark, intense, keeps your heart rapidly beating and your spine tingling, you’ll love this one. I’ve read this book twice now, once was not enough. I will read it again. It’s a definite keeper and will always have a place on my book shelves. I eagerly look forward to Patty’s next book.

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