Title: Secrets of Hallstead House
Author: Amy M. Reade
ISBN 10: 1601833008
ISBN 13: 978-1601833006
Published: Kensington Trade (July 1, 2014)
Author webpage: amymreade.com
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Family Drama, Woman’s Fiction
Nurse, Macy Stoddard is desperately looking for a new beginning. Loss has become her sole existence after the deaths of both of her parents. To make matters worse, her fiancé deserts her just when she needs him the most. Now she finds herself totally alone in the world. To turn the corner of tragic life events, Macy decides to take a position on a remote island in upstate New York where Alexandria Hallstead, the elderly mistress of Hallstead House needs the care of a qualified nurse.
Immediately, Macy is enamored with the natural beauty of the island and the uniqueness of the old house. She enjoys caring for Alex Hallstead and the elderly woman values her friendship on the remote island. Not long after Macy’s arrival it becomes apparent that the rest of the family and servants do not want her there. A mystery drifts about Hallstead House encircling Macy, drawing her into the delicate web of family intrigue. Shrouded threats from the housekeeper and other family members begin to escalate into random acts of unexplained violence.
Macy turns to Pete McHale, Hallstead House resident handyman and boat captain, who becomes her ally in solving the mystery that permeates the island. What Macy didn’t bargain for was falling in love, or discovering the deep, dark family secrets that threaten to engulf her forever.
Author, Amy Reade
The descriptions of the Thousand Islands in upstate New York on the Saint Lawrence River were absolutely glorious. I thought Amy Reade’s words painted vivid images of the sea and the haunting beauty of the islands and the river near Hallstead House. She depicts in her writing, grand homes that dotted these islands with rich tales of the occupant’s failures and achievements. To me, this added story telling augmented a realistic twist to the unraveling events in the story.
The Secrets of Hallstead House is Amy Reade’s debut novel. This book is an enjoyable and comfortable read, much like the gothic suspense novels by Victoria Holt I read as a young woman. For me, Macy’s journey about finding herself and solving the mystery was satisfying and all I needed within the confines of the story.
So come on! Grab a cup of tea, settle in your favorite chair, and visit Hallstead House. Oh, and by the way, don’t underestimate the nature of the mystery that lurks within these pages. I never figured out the end of the story beforehand and was pleasantly surprised at the end!
Edited: Previously stated as free until June 5, 2015. The free download offer has ended.
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $15.99 US
Kindle: $.00 US “FREE”