By: Julie Ann Howell
Publisher: The Peppertree Press
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 1, 2010
Author Sarah Reddington is enjoying the peaceful surroundings and accommodations of the Otter Cove, a charming Victorian inn on the coast of Maine. She is hoping that the quiet setting will help her as she works on her second novel. Alone with just her faithful dog Dickens (even the innkeepers are absent and in fact, have never been seen), Sarah loves the inn and the solitude it offers.
But soon, the peaceful atmosphere is broken by strange noises and sights. Sarah is naturally concerned, but with Dickens constantly at her side, she is confident that she is safe. That all changes after the writer meets a strange fisherman by the name of Jacob Walker. The fisherman tells Sarah about a couple who were murdered within the walls of the inn and of a little girl who was last seen running out of the inn and toward the ocean’s rocks. When Walker tells Sarah that the little girl was most likely his granddaughter, the young woman becomes quite frightened. Just what is going on at the Otter Cove Inn?
The mystery grows deeper, and creepier, as the pages turn. A mysterious key appears, and disappears (what does it open?), a phone rings but yet is not connected to a phone jack, and just where are the innkeepers? I was amazed at Sarah’s resilience and wondered why she didn’t hightail it out of that inn at the first sign of trouble (it becomes obvious as the story progresses). When Sarah’s sister and niece are dragged into the foray, the tension is ratcheted up a notch. Hang on as the mystery unfolds.
While the story drew me in quickly, the writing was a bit rough around the edges although it did settle down as the chapters flew by. Tenses, too, were mixed in spots, “Just in the past few days, during this peaceful visit to the inn, she has encountered more than she bargained for.” (pg.35) Overall, however, this is a terrific, spooky story that you’ll want to read in one sitting as you’ll need to learn just what is going on, and what will happen to Sarah.
Quill says: Don’t read this book alone, in a dark house. Keep the lights on, the television going in the background and get ready to enjoy a great journey into the supernatural.