Thursday, April 3, 2014
"The Devil's Eye" by Dawn Brown
Setting: Modern Day
"She groaned and pulled the covers over her head. Despite the heavy duvet and blankets cocooned around her, she shivered. The temperature in the room had dropped since she'd gone to sleep. And what the hell was that smell? She wrinkled her nose at the thick, mossy stink seeping through the sheets with the cold. Pushing back the blankets, she sat up and froze. Her stomach dropped.
A huge shape lumbered between her bed and the fireplace, blotting out the glow of the coals like an eclipse.
With wide, staring eyes, her gaze traveled the length of the massive shadow, from the hem of a long coat, to broad, masculine shoulders, to the outline of a wide-brimmed hat.
A man. There was a man in her room!
A scream burned up the back of her throat and lodged there. She couldn't move. She couldn't speak. She could scarcely breathe.
Instead, she stared into the black void where a face should have been. Then, like tiny beacons from hell, two red eyes appeared."
Brynn isn't aware she has any living relatives when she receives a letter from her sister, Eleri, asking her to come for a visit as her father is dying. With the loss of her beloved grandparents fresh in her mind, and the rejection from a former lover, Brynn sets off on a journey to the isolated island of her childhood and her birth home, Stone Cliff.
But if Brynn is hoping for a warm welcome and a wholesome family reunion, she's in for a shock. Her father all but coldly dismisses her and tells her to go back where she's come from. Her half sister, Eleri, seems evasive and distant as well. When a putrid shadow man haunts her room at night, terrifying her to the core, she thinks perhaps she might be going insane from shock.
As if shadows and hauntings weren't enough, Brynn will soon discover that over the past decades, many men have rumored to have gone missing from Stone Cliff, and one recently turned up dead and her sister is suspected as a serial killer. Deemed the 'witch of stonecliff,' Eleri has nothing to say of the accusations, except that they are lies and that Brynn's own mother was an evil entity who tortured and killed. But Brynn has in her possession childhood letters written from her mother, letters that are nothing but loving and humble. Letters that make her feel that at least someone from the wretched house might have loved her.
All the same, someone here tried to kill her when she was three years old. Eleri insists it was more than likely her mother but all Brynn can remember are the two strong hands pushing her under, slowly drowning her in the ocean...or was it in The Devils Eye, the evil green swamp that medium (and current workhand), Reece, can't even approach. At first Brynn believes Reece to be a tease and a phony, until he bails her out of one dangerous bind after another.
When someone tries to stab her to death and detective Harding finally has enough evidence to arrest Eleri, things only become more dangerous. More bodies show up dead and Brynn finds herself enraptured with Reece. But there's a madman on the lose at Stone Cliff, and it's not someone that anyone has ever suspected!
Soon detectives will begin to pull dead bodies from The Devil's Eye, and Brynn is in a struggle to save her own life, and the life of the man she has grown to love.
I thought this book was absolutely amazing. Dawn Brown has written the ultimate contemporary gothic and she hasn't neglected one detail from the original vintage gothic. You have the old castle by the sea, murders and mystery, distant relatives and tales of crazy witches, an evil entity/ghost, someone is out to murder the main character, and then there is the strong, masculine hero that steps into the picture. This book has it all...danger, mystery, a ton of suspense, a tantalizing love story, and an ending no one would ever suspect! Long live the gothic!