Her sleep was disturbed by a slowly growing sense of uneasiness. Something was tugging her toward wakefulness. The strange conversation at dinner leaped into her mind. Nancy had lied to Hawks. But why? She opened her eyes, and in that instant a bolt of lightning slashed across the sky. Then the room was plunged into blackness. Again and again the lightning flamed white hot, and in the black sky the thunder smashed down on Karamour.
Suddenly, in the fury of light and sound, Enid realized that her terrifying experience on the rocks earlier in the day was no accident. Someone had tried to kill her.
They had found her unconscious on a lonely stretch of beach along the Cornish Coast -- a beautiful stranger cast up from the sea.
Now half out of her mind with fever and confusion, she found herself an unwilling guest in the gloomy old mansion of the mysterious Mr. Hawks whose wealth and power no one dared to defy.
Only Hanna, the superstitious housekeeper, foresaw that the girl's presence meant trouble. "I see bad things, I see death in the fire," she said. Hawks laughed at her. But she was right -- horribly, terribly right...
This book began well enough. Enid is aboard a ship with her two charges when it crashes into the cliffs and goes down. By some miracle, Enid is the only person aboard the ship who survives but as she is brought to shore, she's rescued by the enigmatic, rich Hawks, known in the tiny town for his wealth and mystery.
As Enid is whisked away to the big, gloomy mansion of Hawks (who is displayed as a savior of sorts), she's met with a hellish nightmare...a malicious housekeeper who wishes her dead, voodoo spells, a jealous mistress who rivals for Hawks, lies, deception, and the bitter, horrifying truth that someone had actually planned her murder!
Honestly, I was hoping to like this book...but the constant head-bouncing from character to character was exhausting (and confusing) and it takes away from the feel of growing suspense. It's hard to feel suspense when you never know what's really going on!
As if that weren't enough, with the sketchy plot that's all over the place, the characters in this story are just....loathsome! I found myself hating every single one of them, even the idiotic main character. I know this is meant to be a historical novel but inside this book, women were displayed as merely merchandise that men claimed as personal valuables. Even the women were horrible to each other. And the men weren't just the regular old thieves or men who'd claimed old money...no, they were ruthless, heartless killers...almost all of them!
I completed this book because I hate unfinished stories. I would not recommend it, though!