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Gothic novel set in a manor house – LockWood Manor – Jane Healey

  • Submitted: 6th March 2020

The animals of Lockwood Manor, England

Gothic novel set in a manor house – LockWood Manor – Jane Healey – Oh what a chilling thrill of a ride this book is! Set in a manor house in the middle of the English countryside, a museum sends displays of stuffed animals there for safety. However, once installed in the house, there’s something strange at play. One animal seems to disappear, others seem to move and the woman sent by the museum to look after them is sure she hasn’t been careless. Someone does not want her or the animals here. There is someone, something trying to send her a message…..

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Gothic novel set in a manor house - LockWood Manor - Jane Healey

 Setting: A manor house in England

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Gothic novel set in a manor house – LockWood Manor – Jane Healey

This book has all the ingredients I really love in a novel. A gothic manor house in the English countryside, secrets galore within and some cranky old characters you can’t trust. Add to this, something which I would find interesting to see in a museum but frightening to see in a house – stuffed animals – and that ramps up the interest right from the off. Should I read this at night I asked myself? I was not brave enough to in the end and that was a good decision.

The creep factor is there from the off. Some VERY effective scene setting from the off. You could imagine yourself creeping around the old house yourself, the floorboards creaking,  the moonlight shadows on the walls as you walk, the idea of seeing the eyes of that dead creature as you walk past it. Does it’s eyes move? Well, that’s what I was imagining.

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The story is slow but well-paced and there’s little clue of what’s happening inside that house. I was transfixed by Hetty and her relationship with those in the house, the person in particular which was an interesting, almost subplot. I would have liked to know more about this as there’s much more to know! The old major, the frightened daughter…..all greatly drawn and memorable characters. The daughter especially acted strange and you just knew there was something not quite right there…..

All these threads pulling at your interest as you read…

The scene setting, oh the scene setting drew you in gradually throughout and it’s all so vivid and expertly paced. I may well go to the Natural History museum now and imagine these animals to be the ones that may have been sent out to manor homes before war broke out. If these animals could talk…(shiver)

Gothic mystery fans are going to feast on this. There’s some dark threads in this novel – all yours to discover – but keep your eyes on where those animals noses are pointed and what their eyes are looking at….

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Twitter:@Healey_Jane    Insta: www.instagram.com/jane_healey_

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