House of Shadows

by Misha Herwin

The house at Kingsfield that stands above the estate at Western Ridge, hides a violent history. Built by a slave owner for his beloved wife, it is a place of lost children, where time fractures and two lonely girls from different centuries cut their fingers and swear to be best friends for ever.

When Jo returns as an adult, long buried memories of her childhood begin to surface. As she slips in and out of time, she realises that she has to face the consequences of her actions, and a friendship forged in blood two hundred years ago will force her to make to a heart-breaking choice.

Jo’s mind is in turmoil following a miscarriage and she decides to retreat to the house she has bought as a studio in order to work. This is a converted barn on the Kingsfield estate overlooking the Weston Ridge council estate where she had grown up.

On arriving she decides to throw herself into her work but instead of the eighteenth-century elegance of the house set against the brutal architecture of the factories she found she had drawn a figure, a girl in a blue dress with her arms stretched out as if pleading for help.

When buying furniture for the Granary Jo befriends Mother and daughter Helene and Cecile who, when they heard where she was living, reminded her of the Satan Stones that stood at the end of the west drive.

Jo is not religious, nor does she believe in the supernatural but her beliefs are put to the test by the unexplained happenings. The house has a disturbed history and its ghosts are set on revenge. When Jo’s step-daughter arrives, the fact she is heavily pregnant brings things to a dramatic finale for a child has been lost and its mother want a replacement and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

This well-crafted book will have you turning pages long after you should have turned out the light. In fact you may well not want to turn out any lights until you have checked the dark corners of your house. A riveting read from start to finish.     

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