Close To Home – Lisa Jackson

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imageVowing to make a fresh start, Sarah McAdams has come home to renovate the old Victorian mansion where she grew up. Her daughters, Jade and Gracie, aren’t impressed by the rundown property on the shores of Oregon’s wild Columbia River. As soon as they pull up the isolated drive, Sarah too is beset by uneasy memories–of her cold, distant mother, of the half-sister who vanished without a trace, and of a long-ago night when Sarah was found on the widow’s walk, feverish and delirious. 

Ever since the original mistress of the house plunged to her death almost a century ago, there have been rumors that the place is haunted. As a girl, Sarah sensed a presence there, and soon Gracie claims to see a lady in white running up the stairs. Still, Sarah has little time to dwell on ghost stories, between overseeing construction and dealing with the return of a man from her past.

But there’s a new, more urgent menace in the small town. One by one, teenage girls are disappearing. Frantic for her daughters’ safety, Sarah feels her veneer cracking and the house’s walls closing in on her again. Somewhere deep in her memory is the key to a very real and terrifying danger. And only by confronting her worst fears can she stop the nightmare roaring back to life once more. . .

A ghost story, a mystery, suspense and romance – all in one book. Wow – but it works.

Sarah McAdams moves back to her childhood home with her two daughters; a house that she has bad and missing memories about and ran from many years before. The past continues to haunt her and now starts to include her family as she struggles to find all the reasons for her fear.

At the same time, someone is kidnapping girls and Sarah’s eldest daughter is the next target – the daughter who has issues of her own as the past and present intersect. Add Sarah’s first love to the mix and each thread winds together to culminate in the need to confront secrets and lies.

Despite the fact that there are a lot of plot threads and at times it seems a struggle to keep up each part of the differing aspects and give them sufficient attention, as ever, Lisa Jackson offers a suspenseful novel that keeps you interested as the pages pass you by. The addition of the supernatural element gives extra life to the back story and cleverly amalgamates into the present that leads into the shocking climax.

I always enjoy books by Lisa Jackson; she writes suspense beautifully and does not have heroines that scream, cry, fall apart in tough situations or are used purely for corpses and her characterisation includes the frailties and fractures of life without being atypical of this type of book.

Close to Home is a good read and yet again Lisa Jackson delivers a page turner.

 

Review by KL

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