The Drake House, by Kelly Moran, was an interesting and intriguing read. I love to find new to me authors. If I likened Moran’s book to a satisfying meal, the story had a paranormal main dish, and it served up a murder mystery and a strong romance as interesting sides. I never felt any side-dish was boring, unnecessary, or lacking in flavor, in fact the story was as rich, and flavorful as the recipe in the back for apple pie.
Set on an apple orchard in Wisconsin, the story involves ranch life, small town life, and a mystery about an abandoned mansion. With everything that was happening in the story, past and present, the author managed not to reveal the antagonist until the final pages. And she successfully resolved all of the threads from her subplots.
As a rule, I stay away from thrillers, strange paranormal stories, and anything that I fear goes bump in the night. It’s those bumps and moans and groans in the timbers that keep me awake and imagining. My imagination often surpasses the horror in a thriller. But this story gripped me and had me reading until 2 a.m. desperate to solve who the villain was. The author bested me. I almost solved it, and then my attention was swept up to focus on yet another suspect.
One aspect of Ms. Moran’s story that I liked was her light hand with description, and yet her setting was very much a part of the story and vivid. Another was her ability to totally color her characters making them almost leap off the page. I cared about her characters. I worried about them. I hoped certain characters were innocent of the murders in that little town. I felt compassion for the community, for their need to cover up aspects of a past crime.
I admired the author’s ability to make me feel. When she described cold, I felt cold. When she wrote about terror I was afraid. When a character had episodes of sleep walking I was there beside her, worrying. When the romance was going well I was happy, when it faltered, I was sad. The hero and heroine were both damaged human beings for various reasons. Each had to overcome events from the past to be able to successfully engage in the present and to create something beautiful in the future. They each had to let go, trust, and have faith that together they could be an amazing team.
Here is a blurb on the book:
In her dreams, a ghost demands to be heard… Once plagued by mysterious nightmares, Trisha Eaton always chalked them up to childish nuisances–until they return with a vengeance. Something about the Drake house next door haunts her, and now her night terrors and sleepwalking seem to be luring her to something dark. After a series of strange events, Trisha turns to Nick Mackey. As the new deputy in town, Nick wants to forget his traumatic past. His undeniable attraction for Trisha has him wondering if a shot at a normal life is possible. But Trisha has somehow struck a nerve in their small, superstitious town, and a long-buried secret threatens to surface again. A secret that someone will kill to keep veiled. Answers only lead to more questions in a case where nothing makes sense, but one chilling fact remains…some nightmares are all too real.
To learn more about Kelly Moran, please visit her website: www.authorkellymoran.com