31 Days of Spooky Reads: The Tale of Halcyon Crane

What unfolds reads like a quintessential gothic novel. Not quite as gloomy or dark, but certainly has an atmosphere that lends itself to deep shadows and cold nights.

READ IF YOU…

  • Want a foreboding atmosphere
  • Like ghost stories
  • Want a book where people have secrets
  • Want a haunted house

TitleThe Tale of Halcyon Crane | Author: Wendy Webb    Rating: 3.5/5

An atmospheric paranormal thriller, where the ghosts of the past never stayed in the past.

Hallie’s father just died from a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She’s reeling from the grief when she gets a note in the mail from a lawyer she’s never heard of. The note is from her long-dead mother, telling her to visit her family estate.

Problem is: Hallie never knew her mother and thought she died a long time ago. Turns out, her mother recently died, and has left Hallie a fortune.

What does a girl do, then, when she’s an adult orphan, with little money to her name, and nothing to tie her down to her life? Why, she goes to her family estate to learn more about the mother she never knew was alive all these years.

What unfolds reads like a quintessential gothic novel. Not quite as gloomy or dark, but certainly has an atmosphere that lends itself to deep shadows and cold nights. Coupled with a remote setting in the Great Lakes, where the island has no automobiles and everyone knows everyone else, the story feels otherworldly, where the line between the now and the after blend until it’s a blurred mess.

I loved the story, and the unfolding of the narrative was well done. Hallie was a believable character, and the backstory of her father kidnapping her from her own mother was a central point to the story, though not the only one.

The ghost story was perfect. It made the book feel dreamlike, and made it hard to guess completely what really happened.

Overall, a great blend of gothic, mystery, ghost story, and haunted house.

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