A girl with a troubled past takes an undercover assignment that may be the death of her.
Grace Harley is a household name for all the wrong reasons. Implicated in a government scandal, she gave birth to a stillborn baby while she was in prison. Now she earns her living as a party girl in the swinging ’60s. One of her former lovers, newspaper editor Tony Fledgwood, offers her an assignment to go to the mysterious North Country great house of D’Espérance (The House of Doors, 2012, etc.). A former World War II army hospital, the sprawling mansion is now a hippie commune that’s swallowed up one of Tony’s reporters sent to investigate. Taking on the name and character of meek Georgie Hale, Grace is welcomed by the community, run by a former naval officer and the nurse companion known as Mother Mary. She’s taken under the wing of Tom, a young man who hero-worships the charismatic Webb, who is creating a new language. Since her attempts to induce an abortion brought about her baby’s death, Grace has been tormented whenever bells are rung, and the ones tolling at D’Espérance scourge both her spirit and her body, for her wrist keeps opening and bleeding. The house seems intent on magnifying her torment as she fights to discover the truth about the commune and save her sanity.
A page turner full of mystery and horror that’s unfortunately marred by a weak ending.