Sarton Kell, a brooding marble mansion, stands near Lake Champlain, in a turn-of-the-century iron-mining town near an Indian settlement. Olivia comes there from the Art Students League as the bride of Christopher Sarton, a gorgeous half-Indian painter who is the son of the mine's founder. His mother, Nanni-lo, is firmly ensconced as mistress of the house while Todd, his son by his first wife, runs the mine. Inevitably, the mansion is haunted, the family's feuding, and someone--yes, folks--is trying to do Olivia in. Nanni-lo becomes ever more sinister as Olivia becomes more pregnant--and why does Christopher get these urges to strangle her when they make love? Incest (the only game in town) is clearly the answer, but whose? An unusual setting is a plus, but the portentous style and tricksy, helter-skelter ending leave one exasperated.