The Skeleton Tree

Diane Janes. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5019-5
When housewife Wendy Thornton, the heroine of this workmanlike effort from British author Janes (Stick or Twist), receives an unexpected inheritance, she decides to use the money, despite husband Bruce’s misgivings, to buy a Victorian house in their village that has long captured her imagination. Unsettling events rapidly unfold, but there’s no clear narrative arc. An old photograph hints at a long-ago crime. A murderer may stalk their neighborhood. Mysterious footsteps are heard in the attic. The behavior of Wendy’s children grows increasingly erratic—as does her own. To Bruce’s increasingly unsympathetic dismay, Wendy becomes obsessed with the house’s history to the point where she risks losing both her family and her sanity. Does the house of Wendy’s dreams exert a malign influence on those who live there? And will Wendy succumb to its curse? As much a horror story as psychological suspense, the plot builds to a shocking if predictable conclusion. Genre fans have seen this all before. Agent: Jane Conway-Gordon, Jane Conway-Gordon Ltd. (U.K.) (June)
Reviewed on : 03/26/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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