My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Vanishing by Wendy Webb is my kind of book. It's a ghost story and the ghosts are important, but the focus is more on the lead character, Julia Bishop, as she deals with rough circumstances in her life. Her husband has committed suicide after losing the life fortunes of investors in a Bernie Madoff style Ponzi scheme. He has left Julia alone and friendless since everyone she knows believes she was aware of her husband's scam. She doesn't have any options to get out of the mess she's in when Adrian Sinclair shows up at her home and offers to take her away. He claims he can hide her where the press and the people her husband cheated can't find her. And on top of that, her job will be to serve as a companion for his mother, Amaris Sinclair, a renowned author of horror novels whom Julia, also a writer, has always admired. There's no way she can pass up this opportunity.
The setting is an old, haunted manor on a large estate in Minnesota. For Julia it's like stepping back in time and into a Gothic novel. There's also romance in the form of Andrew, a handsome man whose ancestor built the estate. Drew keeps horses and likes to take Julia on rides through the woods. He also watches out for her when she needs him.
There are a couple of scary moments, but in general this isn't the kind of ghost story that will frighten the reader. Instead, this book is filled with plot twists and turns that at first seem to conflict, but work out in interesting ways. It's fun to try to figure out what's going on and to determine whom Julia should trust.
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