“It is not so remarkable. Go anywhere in the world and you will find the same sorts of stories. There is a single scarlet thread of brutality that runs through the history of every culture, every nation – through all of human experience.”
Simon is an art appraiser just beginning his career in 1920s Edinburgh. He receives the opportunity to travel to an old manor home in the borderlands to investigate the collection of Victor Mordrake. When he arrives in the isolated town, it’s a bit as if he’s stepped back in history. The manor house is even more isolated and the art is a collection of graphically morbid scenes throughout history. Mordrake is a bit of an eccentric, emotionally volatile fellow and his staff is unusually standoffish. Enter a mysterious woman who is scintillating and wants to spend time with him without the rest of the household knowing. Simon slowly descends into a bit of madness unsettled by the creepy home and its inhabitants. When you learn just what is going on, you will be as surprised as Simon is.
I love gothic mysteries and this one brought the atmosphere for sure. But what didn’t work for me was the pacing, there was a lot of quiet unsettling moments but I often felt that there wasn’t anything moving the story forward. I liked the crux of what was happening but wanted more action and a quicker highway to get there and a little more in the end. The tone, atmosphere and pacing reminded me a lot of Schwab’s Gallant but the content is definitely on the adult side of things.
It’s a quick spooky read that would be perfect for Halloween reading. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
What’s the last spooky thing you read?