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Thirty years apart, two women’s secrets unfold within Black Rabbit Hall, a ramshackle ancestral home set in windswept Cornwall.

In the late 1960s, Hugo Alton doted on Nancy, his gorgeous and gregarious wife. Indeed, Amber and her twin brother, Toby, often felt a bit like intruders when their parents kissed. Vacations spent at Black Rabbit Hall—a magical place where slates flying off the roof don’t matter because the stars shine more brightly near the stormy sea—were the highlight of the children’s lives. That is, until Nancy’s unexpected death. Yet at Nancy’s funeral, a mysterious woman enters the church, a woman Hugo seems to know well. Much too soon for Amber's taste, this icy woman, Caroline Shawcross, and her dark son, Lucian, have ensconced themselves into their lives, with devastating effects. Three decades later, the Hall is in a pitiable state, and its remaining guardian, Mrs. Caroline Alton, is eager to hire it out as a venue for weddings. Enter Lorna Dunaway and her fiance, Jon. Jon questions whether the wilds of Cornwall might be a little far for their London family to travel; he’s even more alarmed at the leaky roof, warped woodwork, and layers of dust. Is it even safe? Lorna, however, is absolutely smitten with Black Rabbit Hall, and she seizes eagerly upon Mrs. Alton’s invitation to stay for a few nights, much to Jon’s dismay. Soon enough, the house begins to weave a spell over Lorna, nudging her to notice relics that seem to point to her own past. Debut novelist Chase weaves together Lorna’s investigations with Amber’s tribulations, a tapestry embroidered with madness, a horrifying accident, and malicious lies.

Compellingly readable and riddled with twists and turns worthy of Daphne du Maurier, Chase’s tale will delight fans of romantic mysteries.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-399-17412-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2015


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