Some secrets are best left buried…
Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clair’s, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before… and when Kingsley House comes up for sale, Katie is determined that her family must buy it.
Surrounded by the mysteries of the past, Katie’s pastime becomes a darker obsession, as she searches through history to trace her heritage. But she soon discovers that these walls house terrible secrets. And when forgotten stories and hidden betrayals come to light, the past seems more alive than Katie could ever have imagined.
Moving between the 21st and 19th centuries, The Emerald Comb is a hauntingly evocative novel.
‘The Emerald Comb’ is two stories; one historical, the other contemporary, cleverly interwoven with conflict, mystery and passion. The action slips seamlessly from Bartholomew St Clair’s 19th century confessions to the 21st century consequences experienced by Katie our heroine. It is an absorbing read.
Katie delves into her ancestry bitten by the contemporary obsession with genealogy. What she finds leads to a house move and more mystery than answers. A possible ghost and a macabre discovery in the garden of their newly moved into house force Katie to question the wisdom of delving into her past. She can’t stop. Genealogy gives Katie an identity and focus, something she is in danger of losing amidst her demanding children and unhelpful husband. Seen only from Katie’s point of view Simon often seems rather a difficult man to like, who treats her hobby with disdain.
The story highlights parallels between the past and Katie’s present life. The secrets both historical and contemporary are resolved in a credible way. The ending is a great bit of dramatic irony. A little inconclusive from Katie’s perspective but complete for the reader who knows what really happened. A classy, readable story.
I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars