cover image Repossession


Rudolf Steiner, Nicola Thorne. Severn House Publishers, $26 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-4931-1

For Helen Tempest, a part-time working mother of two, the promotion won by her husband, John, comes as a mixed blessing. It means a move from suburban London to the isolated village of Tip Hollow in rural Dorset, and a new home, repossessed from its former owners, that Helen senses from the first is a ""very unhappy place."" Helen's unease increases after the family moves in and ominous events start occurring. Helen answers the phone to find no one on the other end; her beloved cat, Skittles, disappears; she learns that Tip Hollow was once an ancient burial site. Helen is cheered when Skittles is found by Rita Markham, an elderly widow living in an old thatched cottage, but when she takes a visiting friend to see the cottage, they find it deserted. Questioning the postmistress, they discover that Mrs. Markham has been dead for more than five years. Finally, the police show up looking for the previous owner's missing wife, who they fear may be buried in the Tempests' garden. This deceptively simple story from veteran British novelist Thorne (Alice Davenport) builds to a satisfyingly chilling finish. (Jan.)