Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Hollow House by Janis Patterson

I ran across this book in one of Dear Author's deal of the day posts, and it sounded so intriguing I decided to give it a try.  I used to love Gothics, although it's hard to find a good one these days.

The Hollow House by Janis Patterson
(2011, Historical Mystery)  2/1/13
Grade: 4

I decided to use the name Geraldine Brunton. It's not the name I was born with, nor the name I married, but it will hide who I really am...and what I have done.  I've taken a job as companion to wealthy invalid Emmaline Stubbs, whose fragile exterior hides a will of iron. Despite its opulence, the Stubbs household is not a happy one. Emmaline's equally stubborn daughter and charismatic, untrustworthy son-in-law want control...

This was an intriguing gothic mystery that kept me turning the pages late into the night.  The book is set in Denver just after WWI, and there were a lot of interesting details about the setting and time period.  The heroine is a typical Gothic heroine, who comes to a dark and mysterious house hiding secrets of her own, although Geraldine is a lot more savvy and tough than many of those old Gothic heroines.  The book is also lacking any romance - it’s purely a mystery.  At first I liked this, because it made sense for the heroine to avoid men and to stay away from anyone who might guess her secret.  But as the book continued, it started to get a little repetitive, and a little flirtation might have added some spark.  This was the main problem with the book - the author ratcheted up the tension in the first half of the book, but once the murder took place, the tension couldn’t be sustained.  There weren’t enough suspects to keep the reader guessing.  I still kept reading but it just didn’t quite live up to the terrific first half.  Still, I liked it overall - 4 stars. 

I've been trying to expand my horizons and read more books outside of romance.  It's just as hard to find a good mystery as it is to find a good romance. 

1 comment:

Dawn Montgomery said...

This sounds sooo interesting. I miss gothics!