Garland lives with her delicate half sister Lucy in a seaside
town in Kent. Every day they see the darkly handsome figure
of Nicholas Blackwood, and not long after their first meeting
Rachel is being invited to spend Christmas with him and his
new bride. Avalon Castle was built by an ancestor of the Blackwoods
who was obsessed with the mediaeval dreamworld of King Arthur,
a passion shared by Nicholas' older brother Ambrose. The reality
includes a feuding family, unwanted child, ghost and more.
Rachel finds herself drawn to their neighbor William Norton;
can he discover if somebody is really trying to kill her?
Set in 1867, this is a real gothic tale with all the trappings.
Dysfunctional family, hauntings, accidents, sinister characters,
spooky old house-it has got the lot. Perhaps it doesn't have
anything to add to the recipe but it does it all very well
which, in my book at least, is just as good. The book hits
the ground running and doesn't let up, delivering the sort
of story that just needs a dark evening, hot drink and cozy
chair for full enjoyment. Rachel and William make for sensible
and likeable characters, offsetting some hissable villains
and a few surprises. If you enjoy this type of story this
is a good example of it and comes highly recommended.