The Arnaud Manor has sat empty for years, and the building wears disrepair on its walls. But for Phoebe and her family, the Arnaud ancestral home is a fresh start from the life that they left in San Fransico. Phoebe can’t remember why they left, exactly, but she knows that the blame for their hasty departure rests squarely on her shoulders. However she’s quickly realizing dealing with her oblivious family is the least of her worries. Because the Arnaud Manor isn’t as empty as it seems. And its most dangerous inhabitant is hungry for blood.
Reading this book felt like riding a roller coaster, complete with highs of This book is great! and lows where I just want it to be over. The haunted house concept sparked my interest, and I loved the creepiness of the scene where Phoebe comes face-to-face with the villain for the first time. That was the stuff of nightmares.
But the tension seemed off in the majority of Haunted. Like I went for long periods of time where Phoebe tried to figure out what she did in San Francisco, and it seemed like those scenes should have oozed tension. But they didn’t. Yes, her situation stunk. I just couldn’t find a reason to root for her in those scenes. Perhaps blame for that partially rests on me and my lack of interest in stories driven by emotional conflict rather than physical danger.
Probably the most clever part of the story happened to be the twist that came halfway through the book. It brought together a lot of loose threads that had been billowing in the breeze. Though the author let herself get caught up with the concept and made the ending drag on way past the climax.
Haunted would be a great read for someone interested in a haunted house story that has an emotionally-driven story line as well.
Haunted by Lynn Carthage will be published on February 24th, 2015 in paperback by Kensington Books.
**I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for an honest, unbiased review.