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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

‘Abigale Hall’ by Lauren Forry

Published by Black & White Publishing,
20 April 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-78530-009-7

It is 1947 and Eliza and her younger sister Rebecca are orphans living with their Aunt Bess in London. Eliza works as an usher in the evenings where she has met Peter and they start to go out together. Rebecca has spent some time in a mental hospital and is of a very nervy disposition. The two girls are not very well treated and their aunt is thought to tire of them and sends them to Wales to live, accompanied by a Mr. Drewry. They are met by a Mrs Pollard who soon puts them to work as maids.

Strange things start to happen in the huge house Thorncroft where the sisters are sent. Can it really be a ghost of a lady named Victoria whose portrait hangs on the wall that Eliza sees?

Back in London Peter cannot understand why Eliza has suddenly disappeared and Aunt Bessie will say nothing. Meanwhile Eliza befriends a girl named Ruth, but can she really trust her and who is the creepy Mr.Brownawell an old man seen living at Thorncroft? Then Rebecca's behaviour changes and she starts acting very strangely.

Can Peter find Eliza and bring her back home to London? As deaths start to occur can he get there in time?

This book is full of lovely descriptive passages and creates a great sense of menace and eeriness. The narrative moves well between Peter in London and the two sisters in Wales. The atmosphere builds beautifully as one strange thing after another happens leading to a surprising ending. I'm glad I didn't read this book at night!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Lauren A. Forry was brought up in the woods of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA where her FBI agent father and book-loving mother raised her on a diet of The X-Files and RL Stine. After earning her BA in Cinema Studies from New York University, she moved to London where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. There she was awarded the Faber and Faber Creative Writing MA Prize for her dissertation, which would become her debut novel, Abigale Hall. Her short stories have since been published by Brick Moon Fiction, Lamplight Magazine, and in multiple sci-fi and horror anthologies. She currently resides in the woods but can, on occasion, be found in the quieter parts of London.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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