GOTHIC HORROR:  Gwynneth Reese discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her, so she packed up her things, moved to San Francisco and became roommates with her best friend, Seth. Ignoring her painting and Art History degree she starts work at a retirement home and realizes she loves it. She’s upset when one particular resident passes away alone on a stormy night. Gwynneth drives over to the funeral home to pay her respects, but on her way back she crashes into a ditch and gets struck by lightning while walking along the road. It’s a miracle she survives, but strange and scary things are now happening to her and they seem connected to her dead friend. As she begins to question her sanity Gwynneth has to figure out what is going on, how to stop it and somehow stay alive.

A fascinating combination of horror and fantasy with a dash of romance, this tale will have one eyeing thunderstorms with extreme wariness. Seth is a strong character, as are the other secondary people in Gwynneth’s life, but Julian is never really satisfactorily explained. However, while Gwynneth is a well-developed character it is easy for the reader to grow frustrated with some of her more ill-conceived decisions, decisions that make one want to grab her by the shoulders and shake some common sense into her. An intriguing plot is complicated by confusing images and unexplained things that slither. A tightening of the plot added to further clarification of Julian and his slinking creatures would make this a truly hair-raising story.

Carol Conley