More Dual-Timeline Suspense Than Hotel California. For whatever reason, I went into this book thinking it would be some level of Hotel California type story. Maybe the whole “bed and breakfast where people seem to wind up dead” thing? Just to clarify for anyone who may be getting that vibe as well… this is not that, not really. Instead it is more of a dual timeline suspense with secrets and connections both obvious and not. A lot of people are tossing around the word “gothic”, but I’m not quite sure I personally picked up on that. But maybe I’m just not as certain of what a “gothic” story is supposed to be? Regardless, this was truly a well written and well told story, one that is both compelling and creepy enough to keep the reader engaged without being so over the top as to compel the reader to throw the book out the nearest window (which is even rougher on Kindles than it is on paper books, just sayin’). As I’ve noted with at least a couple of other authors who normally do romance books (as Marsh is more known for) but who open themselves up to more suspense/ thriller/ etc… Marsh does a truly excellent job in both spaces, and seeing her expand her stories into these new (to her) spaces is quite interesting and a mark of a strong storyteller regardless of chosen genre. Very much recommended.
Creepy Gothic Hollywood Glitz. First things first – I’m writing this review *years* after I read the dang book, because I just saw that apparently when Winters *finally* released it long after I read it as a very early ARC, I never came back and wrote a review for it. Indeed, it was while writing another review for a February 2022 release – A Lullaby For Witches by Hester Fox – that I made the connection to this book due to their blends of historical and modern fiction via witchcraft (and in particular, ghost witches)… and then realized I had never reviewed this book. 😀
ANYWAY… this book really will stick with you, long after you thought you had long forgotten about it. It does a phenomenal job of showing Golden Age Hollywood glitz as well as a more modern look at Hollywood… and it gets creepy early and never really lets up. The finale here is particularly well done and particularly memorable, and really the fact that I could very easily spoil large sections of this book in a discussion even so many years and literally thousands of books later… that should tell you how well crafted this story is and just how much it will crawl into your brain like few others. Very much recommended.
Gothic. Witchy. Near Perfect Blend Of Historical And Modern. This is one of those witch tales that blends the modern and the historical particularly well – in this case, via a ghost witch. We see her travails in her own mortal time in the middle of the 19th century… and we also get a remarkable view of the life of a museum worker in 21st century New England as well. How these two blend – and why – is what makes this book so remarkable. Fans of Nick Winters’ Hollywood Scent will particularly love this, as both books share a particularly creepy finale mechanism (and indeed have similar *general* arcs blending historical and current). Overall a great creepy witch tale, perfect for cold gray days by a campfire. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social and buy links.
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