Monday, December 8, 2008

The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes

Sometimes visceral shivers, an exploration of the darker side of humanity and a little psychological suspense is exactly what I'm looking for in a book.

Deborah Noyes has written five short stories set in the same haunted mansion in Brittany. The first is a retelling of Edith Wharton's classic ghost story, Kerfol. It takes place in 1613 and is told from a maid's viewpoint. The young noblewoman Perette works for is terrified of her insanely jealous and much older husband. He ends up dead, apparently torn apart by a pack of dogs... but there are no dogs at Kerfol. No living dogs, anyway.

The subsequent tales move forward in time; 1802, 1926, 1982 and 2006. Each weaves in threads from the earlier stories. Intriguing and, appropriately, haunting.

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