DEADLIGHT HALL by Sarah Rayne

DEADLIGHT HALL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ghosts from World War II haunt a Victorian mansion.

Professor Leo Rosendale is nearing retirement and moving out of his childhood home. Suspecting that the Wolvercote mansion near Oxford is haunted, he asks colleague Michael Flint to look into the matter. It's a logical choice because Michael and his ladylove, Nell, who deals in antiques, have considerable experience with the spirit world (The Whispering, 2014, etc.). Rosendale visits Nell's shop with an old figurine for her to sell. It depicts a golem, known from Jewish mythology as an evil figure but literally defined as "formless." Indeed, Michael does hear a child's voice in the house and briefly sees a childlike figure. He learns that the golem figure is pure silver and very valuable, dating back to 1780. How did Rosendale come to acquire it? Flashbacks to his childhood fill in the picture piece by piece. Recalling when he and young twins Sophie and Susannah Reiss debated the rumors they'd heard about children being sent east to the Angel of Death, it gradually becomes clear that the twins were in hiding from the Nazis. Michael's discovery of letters from the 19th century hints at an even darker history for the mansion, then known as Salamander House. Letters figure prominently in the story, as do painful memories that Michael's discoveries dredge up for Rosendale, who's never been satisfied with the cover story that the long-departed Sophie and Susannah were placed with a local family. Michael's unearthing of a journal confirms some of his worst fears.

Michael and Nell's fifth thriller is skillfully structured and packed with suspense.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8471-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2015




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