Monday, January 6, 2014

'Night of the Half Moon' by J.H. Rhodes

Published:  1980
Setting:  Modern Day

Anne Brannon returns to her childhood home, Ravenwing, under mysterious circumstances.  Her father has recently died, and she wasn’t even invited to the funeral.  Estranged from her father for the past ten years after the suspicious death of her beloved mother, Anne has spent the last few years of her life working as a seamstress in a clothing shop and caring for her dying grandmother.  With an increasing mound of medical bills, Anne feels that the sell of Ravenwing would more than compensate the increasing debt, and leave a little extra to live on.

However, her arrival to Ravenwing only stirs old suspicions and deepens the mystery of her mothers death.  First there is cousin Melvin, who appears to downright resent Anne’s return and often throws slurs in her general direction.  Then there is the hateful, lazy cook/housemaid Alberta, who never cared for Anne’s beautiful mother for reasons unknown.  Anne’s aunt seems all but indifferent and the current houseguest Norman Franken makes her skin crawl.

Anne is ready to brush this all off as a case of the nerves until someone throws her down a dark flight of cellar stairs, then she receives cryptic messages and pranks that warn her away from the old inheritance.  But the most incriminating evidence Anne finds while packing up her mothers belongings…a diary!  Yet, someone has ripped the last few pages from the book, an entry that was dated the night of her own death…incriminating none other than Mr. Franken.

Anne is terrified and only has two allies to speak of in the house, her cousin Cleo and a recent romantic interest, Craig Allyson, who has  built his own rambling mansion as neighbor to Ravenwing.  Anne also has the crawling suspicion that eyes are always watching her, ironically her mother spoke of the same fear in her diary.  But when Anne goes in search of a secret passageway, she might just end up losing her life!

I loved this read!  Very quick paced with a jarring, surprise ending that I didn’t even suspect!  Very light, enjoyable reading and would highly recommend to fans of the vintage gothic!


Rating:  5 Stars

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