Friday, August 23, 2013

'Secrets of Harbor House' by Norma Seely

Published:  2000
Setting:  Modern Day, USA

After mystery writer Annie Kirk confides to her best friend Cara North that she’s been all but stalked by a prowler who seems to have made a habit of looking through her windows in the early morning hours, Cara is quick to offer Annie to stay at an old house she’s inherited from her famous father, mystery writer Hadrian Coyle.  At first Annie is hesitant, but eventually takes her friends’ generous offer.  The only thing Cara asks in return is that Annie try to find the last manuscript of Hadrian Coyle, which is said to be hidden somewhere in the old house.  The manuscript would be worth a fortune by now and Cara is desperate for the money.  

The house is nestled deep in the woods with a magnificent ocean view, and with its own ghosts and mysteries, it seems.  Far from civilization and alone at the house, aside from caretaker Brendan Marshall who lives in the guest house, Annie finds the old house unsettling.  Then strange things begin to happen.  First there is an intruder that seems to disappear into thin hair.  Then an ailing old man stands outside her window in the early morning hours calling her by the name of the long-missing daughter of Hadrian Coyle.  Soon, Annie is consumed by uncovering the secrets of the creepy old house, and of it’s past, but with each clue she reveals she finds herself being drawn tighter and tighter into a web of deceit.  

This book was an enjoyable, quick read.  There was enough suspense to keep things moving smoothly, but the writer dropped some not-so-subtle hints throughout the book that pretty much gave the mystery away.  There were also parts here and there that trailed away from the story, it seemed a bit purposeless and perhaps a way to fill a few extra pages.  Towards the end it was easy to figure out exactly what was going to happen.

This book is a fun, fast read.  Would recommend only if you’re a fan of the series or for light reading.
Rating:  3 Stars

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