We received a copy of this novel through the Juniper Grove Review Library in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Terry Lynn Thomas
Genre: Historical Gothic Mystery
Published: January 16th, 2016
Publisher: BlackOpal Books
Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion. Now, on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s murder, Sarah has been summoned home. Convinced of her innocence, she returns to Bennett House, hoping to put the broken pieces of her life back together. But when another murder occurs shortly after her arrival, Sarah once again finds herself a suspect, as she is drawn into a web of suspicion and lies.
In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.
The Spirit of Grace is similar to the Gothic style of Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.
As I mentioned before the plot was thick with curiosity and suspense. I did suspect within the first chapter the culprits, but I had no idea how deep their secrets were. The author brilliantly pulled the story together, piece by piece and gave us plenty to wonder, and get excited about. She basically gave us little bites before dumping the truth in our laps, which was fantastic.
There is a bit of a romance, but it's set to the background of the story, which I appreciated. I felt compelled to find out what would happen next, and the story kept me on my toes with the mystery and Sarah's memories.
The characters were well done with quirks and personalities that separated them apart from each other. I almost wish Mrs. Tolliver had a few more lines, she was quite the eccentric. But, Zeke, Grace, Sarah and Jack were all entertaining, and enjoyable to get to know.
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