HOUSE OF ASHES by Loretta Marion


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A haunted house’s latest inhabitants go missing without a trace.

In a quest to keep Battersea Bluffs—a house in Cape Cod built by her family generations ago—from foreclosure, Cassie Mitchell decides to rent out a part of the property to a young couple who show up on her doorstep. A strong believer in fate, Cassie finally feels that she can quit fretting about her finances when Vince and Ashley Jacobson agree to help fix the rentable portion of the property in exchange for housing. Though Cassie is no social butterfly, she finds herself opening up to the sweet young couple, and her warmth is reciprocated even if her openness is not. One day on a picnic bike ride, Ashley and Vince disappear, and Cassie, desperately trying to piece together what happened, realizes how little she knows about the two. Marion (The Fools Truth, 2016) focuses on three time periods: the recent past of Cassie’s time with the couple, her present-day search, and the distant past of her family history and a curse that’s haunted the Mitchell clan for generations. Years ago, Robert Toomey cursed Percy Mitchell and his wife, Celeste, after Toomey’s promised marriage fell through, and generations of Mitchells have felt the effects of the spurned Toomey’s terror. Unlike her sister, Zoe, Cassie believes the spirits of Battersea Bluffs will help guide her to the truth. Pragmatic local police officer Brooks Kincaid, Zoe’s long-ago boyfriend, aims to help Cassie find her missing tenants, but his earnest efforts are pushed aside when savvy city FBI agent Daniel Benjamin takes an interest in the case. Cassie doesn’t care who helps her as long as Vince and Ashley return safely, but with Brooks wondering in her ear, she can’t help but suspect that the FBI’s involvement means there’s more at stake than her grandmother’s missing picnic basket.

Marion’s constant shuttling between different time periods may intensify her heroine’s anxiety, but it lends some heft and complexity to an otherwise straightforward search.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-68331-843-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2018


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