Goodreads: It is a find of inestimable value for Karen Holloway. The battered manuscript she holds in her hand—written in the nineteenth century and bearing the mysterious attribution “Ismene”—could prove a boon to the eager young English professor’s career. But Karen’s search for the author’s true identity is carrying her into the gray shadows of the past, to places fraught with danger and terror. For the deeper she delves into Ismene’s strange tale of gothic horror, the more she is haunted by the suspicion that the long-dead author was writing the truth . . . and that even now she is guiding Karen’s investigation, leading her to terrible secrets hidden behind the cold walls of houses of stone.
I’m afraid it took me longer than I thought it would to get through this book. I love Barbara Michaels but this one just didn’t grab me like most her books do. I wasn’t overly crazy about Karen and found the fight between the sexes a bit overdone.
Karen’s character didn’t seem all that deep to me – I don’t know – I just couldn’t relate to her at all. The gothic horror and mystery surrounding the manuscript was what kept me reading till the end.
This isn’t one of Michaels best but it isn’t horrible either. Details on the setting and era were quite elaborate and well done – I’m not a huge era sort of person, I get tired of going between the past and the present and most eras don’t interest me all that much (yes, I know, that shows my limited literary focus). Most people love that stuff but I am not one of them. I suppose it depends on the writer and how they present the story.
Anyway, I give this book a C+ – it is a good read for a dreary day when you don’t want to run out to the library for something else. 🙂