Cruel Sister: A Haunted Ballad

Deborah Grabien, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $23.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-312-35757-3

In Grabien's mesmerizing fourth mystery of ghostly suspense (after 2005's Matty Groves ), actress Penny Wintercraft-Hawkes gets a call from her long-absent brother, Stephen, who has returned to London from Hong Kong with his wife, Tamsin, to claim land he inherited on the Isle of Dogs, situated on the Thames. Stephen wants Penny's lover, Ringan Laine, a folk musician and expert in period restoration, to consult on his plan to build a Tudor-style manor house on the site. Ringan's uneasy first steps on the isle are only the prelude to the horror of visions to come. A girl who drowns her sister, a pack of baying dogs and a musician from Henry VIII's court invade Ringan's dreams and his waking life. As in previous entries to the series, one of Ringan's folksongs figures into the story and enhances the drama. Grabien's skillful blend of reality and the supernatural will chill even skeptical readers. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/28/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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