Thursday, March 13, 2014
'Nightmare House' by Ethel Martin
Setting: Modern Day
Shelley O'Neil doesn't have much family to speak of, so when she finally finds a temporary job (for the summer) working as a nursemaid for an infant, she feels she's found the perfect position for saving money and planning her next major life move.
However, her reception at the large, over-run, vine-covered estate of Elmood was less than welcoming. Not only does the brutally scarred and mute maid, Bretta, give her the creeps but her employer, Miss McGuire, seems to be feeble and frightened.
Miss McGuire informs Shelley that her grand daughter will be arriving with an infant in a few days for a long visit and that is when Shelley can begin her duties as a nursemaid. But when the Farley's do arrive with their infant, Miss McGuire seems even more frightened and the Farley's emit a feeling of evil and treachery.
It's a good thing that Dave, the young hired hand and gardener, lives on the estate as well because Shelley feels she's being drawn into a web of secrets and that the Farley's are, in fact, only imposters. Her fear is only deepened when she witnesses Julia Farley stealing Miss McGuire's mail and when John Farley lets a vicious dog lose on the grounds at night for no apparent reason. It is only when she overhears the Farley's questioning Miss McGuire about a hidden fortune and goes snooping into their guest rooms that she realizes they are really criminals by the name of Lottie and Vic Decarlos and they've came to steal Miss McGuires inheritance to her newly-born great-grandson.
Before she knows it, Shelley is being locked in her room, sneaking through secret passages, and escaping at night to the arms (and wits) of Dave as she tries to solve (and escape) the imminent mystery of the rugged Elmwood.
Yet, when the real Farley's arrive, Miss McGuire will repent her secrets in an explosive grand finale. Shelley only hopes she can make an escape with her new romance, Dave, and begin a life somewhere outside the twisted stories of the dilipidated mansion walls and cold-blooded murder!
Another classic gothic. Loved the creepy house and the eccentric characters!
Rating: 5 Stars