Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb

Publication: January 21, 2014

Publisher: Hyperion

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.

Normally I am not one for horror movies, or scary books that much. That being said, there was something about this book, that drew my interest and I thought why not? Sometimes it nice to read a book from a genre that you don’t normally flock to. I’m glad I did.

The story begins with a bang...something very bad happening at Havenwood during a séance hundreds of years ago in 1875. Then it flashes forward to the present where Julia Bishop’s life appears to be in shambles at the moment. Her husband dead, friends long gone, she feels very alone. An opportunity of a lifetime is presented to her when Adrian Sinclair offers her a job seemingly out of nowhere. This gives her fresh start...a new lease on life.
I don’t want to say too much and spoil the story for those who have yet to read it. When reading a story like this, I think the less you know going into it, the better.

“Havenwood was indeed a den of secrets, I thought as I sipped my drink. I wondered what else was lurking just out of sight.”

The atmosphere is creepy and suspenseful. I love that the backdrop of the story was a house hundreds of years old, almost in the middle of nowhere near the wilderness. It made for a fun and scary setting. I think that Wendy Webb did a good job with the storytelling. The characters were lively and interesting. The questions and suspense slowly grew the further I got into the story.
I will admit that the ending was a little disappointing to me. I think I was expecting something more sinister then there actually was. It wasn’t what I expected, but I still enjoyed the story just the same.

The Vanishing entertained me, kept me on the edge of my seat and sucked me into Julia’s world before I even knew it. Which I think was the author’s purpose.

RATING: 3½ out of 5.

**I received this book on behalf of the Publisher in exchange for nothing but my honest opinion. Thank you**


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  1. I enjoyed this one, too! I picked it up on a whim when I saw it on NetGalley and was very glad I did, cause it turned out to be just what I expected - an old school kind of ghost story with a Gothic vibe. I liked the way the story was told and the setting of it, tho I agree, the ending could've been better! Great review! :)

    Evie @Bookish

  2. Thanks Evie! An old school ghost story is the perfect way to describe it. I'm glad you enjoyed it also.