The Vanishing

Wendy Webb. Hyperion, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4013-4194-7
Webb (The Fate of Mercy Alban) once again mines the secrets of an old mansion for an effective contemporary supernatural thriller. Three months after the suicide of Julia Bishop’s husband, who turns out to be “the Midwestern Bernie Madoff,” Adrian Sinclair, a complete stranger, shows up at the Chicago novelist’s door with a proposal to give her a new life as a companion to his aged mother at their northern Minnesota estate, Havenwood. Julia, who faces lawsuits and possible jail time, quickly accepts, though she’s amazed to learn that Adrian’s mother is famed horror writer Amaris Sinclair (aka “the female Edgar Allan Poe”), who supposedly died 10 years earlier. Havenwood proves to have a storied past that includes a macabre incident involving a famous 19th-century spiritualist, Seraphina, a murder, and spirits lingering from that long ago time. Julia’s tortuous, haunting journey of self-discovery will keep readers turning the pages. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 01/21/2014
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Hardcover - 399 pages - 978-1-62899-035-5
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