My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The general vibe of the book is not really horror even though it is classified as such but the gothic tone of the novel is really one of the best that I have read in recent times. This is also probably the first book I am reading that had references to the Covid pandemic woven thru the story. I had deliberately stayed away from anything relating to the pandemic coz as such the virus had taken all the joys away from our life, in fact, the aftermath of the disease is still being felt, and I didn’t want my reading also to be affected.
Hold My Place refers to the pandemic situation in vague terms as the cause of death for a character and makes the plot a little believable as to the speed of the obsession that develops in Sigrun. Edgar’s character never completely solidifies, in fact, all the females in the story made a stronger impression in my mind rather than Edgar. Sigrun is a 30 something goth librarian, introduced as an intelligent and rational woman happy to be independent and lonely in her world. The use of the pandemic situation in explaining the off the rails character change in Sigrun was good but there are many parts of the story that I believe the author could have gone into more detail. The pacing of the story is varied with the beginning a little slow paced but the ending kind of rushed. It was a gripping read in the beginning and Cassondra Windwalker conveys the darkness of the story brilliantly, one can sense the falling into madness as soon as Sigrun reaches Edgar’s house.
The ending was unexpected, the creepiness just leaking out of the pages in that final chapter. This is one of those books that may fail to excite a reader who loves gothic romances but is perfect for those who love gothic stories with a subtle horror overlaid thru them.
Many thanks to Net Galley, Black Spot Books and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
When librarian Sigrun falls head-over-heels for the sophisticated and very married Edgar Leyward, she never expects to find herself in his bed—or his heart. Nevertheless, when his enigmatic wife Octavia dies from a sudden illness, Sigrun finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance worthy of the most lurid novels on her bookshelves. Sigrun soon discovers Octavia wasn’t Edgar’s first lost love, or even his second. Three women Edgar has loved met early deaths. As she delves into her beloved’s past through a trove of discovered letters, the edges of Sigrun identity begin to disappear, fading into the women of the past. Sigrun tells herself it’s impossible for any dark magic to be at play—that the dead can’t possibly inhabit the bodies of the living—but something shadowy stalks the halls of the Leyward house and the lines between the love of the present and the obsessions of the past become increasingly blurred—and bloody.
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