Moonrise

Cassandra King. Maiden Lane (Ingram, dist.), $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0178-1
King’s latest novel (after Queen of Broken Hearts) takes inspiration from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, keeping the best of the latter’s atmospheric tension without falling into melodramatic cliché. Helen Honeycutt is swept off her feet by Emmet at the small Fort Lauderdale, Fla., television station where she works. She also falls in love with the idea of Moonrise, his family home in North Carolina, even though its preservation had been the “driving force” of his first wife, Rosalyn’s life. Helen and Emmet summer at Moonrise, where Helen encounters the back-biting, two-faced machinations of the tight-knit friends once shared by Emmet and Rosalyn. Fascinated by the overgrown gardens, trying to maintain her career, shut out by Emmet’s friends (and increasingly by Emmet), Helen wonders if Rosalyn’s ghost haunts the house, or if there’s something more sinister and human going on. The way that Helen uncovers the truth, and the way several of the circle discover what really happened the night Rosalyn died, are interwoven to create a suspenseful modern Gothic that gives a nod to its predecessors while still being fresh. The choice of present-tense narrative is an unfortunate distraction, but King’s light touch even in scenes that could have bogged down, and her deep understanding of her characters’ motivations makes this an exciting read. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff & Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
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