Title: Harkworth Hall
Published: 1st August 2017
Author: L.S. Johnson
Caroline Daniels must marry, and marry well. But in her remote corner of England eligible suitors are few and far between, and none hold a candle to her closest friend, Diana Fitzroy.
When Sir Edward Masterson arrives, he seems the answer to Caroline’s financial worries, though she instinctively dislikes the reticent, older merchant. Soon Sir Edward has set his sights on acquiring both Caroline and the decaying Harkworth Hall.
Caroline’s future seems secure, save that Sir Edward’s enigmatic secretary hints at a dark secret, and Sir Edward shows an unusual interest in the nearby bay. To discover Sir Edward’s true purpose, Caroline will have to face the horror beneath Harkworth Hall—and the woman who will change her life.
This is a gothic mystery story with a twist, so hold on for an intriguing ride with this one. Just when you think this could be a romance story when a mystery man comes on the scene it turns on its head with a bit of a paranormal mystery. Be wary of birds leaving in hoards as it would mean danger, or evil, is on its way.
Caroline is in for a mysterious journey when a stranger comes to town to take up residence in the equally mysterious Harkworth Hall. Sir Edward Masterson seems quite charismatic and charms most he meets – Caroline’s father being top of that list. So much so that he wants to go into business with him. Well her father also wants something else that could help Caroline, that in the form of a marriage to someone seemingly respectable. Caroline has never really been that focused on marriage, not like her friend Diana, but seems willing to do more if it will help her father in anyway. She knows he needs funds so this would help but isn’t going out of her way to meet Sir Edward Masterson just yet. Seems her father knows her well so brings him and his secretary Mr Jonathan Chase to her – someone else who seems to hold a secret close to their chest. Dinner guests make the house go a little crazy with trying to get everything ready. There is only so much that Caroline and the housekeepers Mr. and Mrs. Simmons can do. Dinner is one thing to get through but her father has invited Edward to stay with them until Harkworth Hall is ready for him. The house has been empty for years and just the looks of it would put the chills in you. Let alone the chills Caroline gets whenever Edward is near. There is something about him she just doesn’t trust but is she the only one?
Maybe not as Mr Chase gives off the impression that she should stay clear of Edward and Harkworth Hall altogether – not that she really wants to get close to either anyway. Mr Chase is a mystery too, Caroline knows there is more than meets the eye and it won’t take her long to uncover secrets hidden. Whether Mr Chase is there to help or hinder her in figuring out what darkness may be upon them is unclear but it’s something she needs to figure out fast with the disappearance of a local girl who was on route to Harkworth Hall.
Caroline is the kind of person that once she has her mind set on something she won’t stop until she figures it all out. She was told to stay away from Edward, something she is fine with really, but knows she needs to go to the house to figure out more of a mystery. It doesn’t help that she has been having bad dreams of late – a clue to what’s coming perhaps? An eye in the sea calling to her and needing something only she can give. Some paper clippings of women going missing and being murdered draws a dark picture on what may be coming and who might be involved. Is Edward who he says he is? Can she trust those she has known for years? Will a stranger be there to lend a hand in times of need? One thing is clear and that’s that she should always trust her first instincts, as they don’t seem to lead her wrong. Just maybe into dangerous situations first before trying to get back out again.
Interesting mystery mixed with a paranormal twist and intrigued with what is really happening at Harkworth Hall. Who you can really trust will be tested and what lies beneath might not be the only danger that draws near.
4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.