The Haunting Of Abney Heights by Cat Thomas #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #MysteryThriller #Gothic #TheHauntingofAbneyHeights #NetGalley
YUP, quite late with my review but hey, spooky season it is and I had to get it done before another year passed by.
So, once again my favorite genres all around, mystery, dual timeline, haunted house ahem, not just a house, an asylum that too, and a central protagonist who has her own past shadows to fight against. I did plunge in with lots of high expectations. NOPE, I wouldn’t say I was cheated or I didn’t enjoy the story but I and my horror-craving soul wanted a more gothicky atmospheric vibe.
Meghan is an archivist and geneologist and is tasked by a client Betty to look into the history of Abney Heights and learn more about an aunt Ella who had died suspiciously while being treated there. The present day story has Meg and her Scooby gang trying to piece together the events that led to the death of Ella and also another patient Lucy who died on the same day. The author uses journal entries by Ella in coded format which is then decoded by Meg and diary and other technical presentations by the doctor to build the suspense of the deaths of the two women.
As the story alternates between the events in the past and the present, the readers are given a peak into the life of the women in that era and also the societal pressures that govern them. Cat Thomas introduces numerous characters in both timelines who are pretty interesting and add some spice to the story. The mystery that gets unraveled was surprising, didn’t see that angle of the plot coming into play and I loved how the author used that and added the stunning jaw dropping twist with Meg’s past and finally, the supernatural element which I was looking forward to.
The Haunting Of Abney Heights serves rightly as a dual timeline mystery but readers chasing ghosts or horror vibes are gonna be disappointed. Most of the story unfolds thru diaries so a significant part feels like reading textbooks and the lack of dialogue did get a tad boring for me.
In all, a solid historical fiction mystery.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
When Meg returns to London, she knows she’ll be facing ghosts from her own troubled past. She doesn’t expect to be so unsettled by the place where she’s staying-even if is a former asylum.
Investigating the mysterious deaths of two asylum patients, Meg discovers an intriguing Edwardian world of steampunk spiritualism, genteel gay romance, and radical therapies. Digging deeper, she begins to realise something evil lurked behind the asylum’s liberal façade. Did the patients find out? Was that why they were killed?
Deciphering a coded document takes her nearer the heart of the asylum’s secrets and reveals shocking truths about Meg’s own life. Her grip on reality crumbles as the dark Edwardian past begins to overtake her. Can she survive the damaging path to the final piece of the puzzle?
Many thanks to Net Galley, BooksGoSocial and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.