Property of a Lady (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story)

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9781847513472: Property of a Lady (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story)
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A house with a sinister past – and a grisly power - When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him – even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it’s not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . .

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About the Author:

Sarah Rayne is the author of novels of supernatural suspense, including the new series featuring Michael Flint and Nell West. She lives in Staffordshire.

Review:

A haunted house holds past secrets that endanger present visitors.

Americans Liz and Jack Harper are thrilled to inherit an old house in the tiny Shropshire town of Marston Lacy. They ask their British friend Michael Flint, a junior don at Oxford's Oriel College, to check it out. When Michael takes several pictures of the imposing structure, called Charect House, he's slightly unsettled by a figure he sees in an upper window. At this point, the diary accounts (circa 1988) of Dr. Alice Wilson, a Special Investigator for Psychic Research, begin to be woven into the narrative, along with the perspective of Nell West, a young widow new to Marston Lacy. Nell, who has a small antiques business in town, has been hired by the Harpers to help furnish the house. She visits Charect with her young daughter Beth, whom she has been careful to shield from the world. Upon discovering Wilson's diary, Nell learns that the house's name has been changed. Once Michael and Nell's paths cross, they begin a very muted flirtation. Beth begins having violent nightmares and one day vanishes from school. Beside herself, Nell rushes to the police station. At length, Michael finds a similar case from decades ago. Further research stretches all the way back to the late 19th century. Dark episodes from the past counterpoint Michael and Nell's present-day attempts to save Beth.

With this eighth novel (House of the Lost, 2010, etc.), which boasts a refreshingly retro flavor, Rayne spins eerie yarns within yarns like a latter-day Isak Dinesen or Wilkie Collins. --Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2011

A gnarled haunted house story spanning centuries makes a promising supernatural venture by crime fiction author Rayne (What Lies Beneath). Literature professor Michael Flint pays a visit to a crumbling old house recently inherited by his friends the Harpers and encounters a terrifying presence. The Harpers' young daughter sees the spirit in her dreams, as does the daughter of recently widowed antiques dealer Nell West. Michael and Nell embark on a harried search through local folklore, moldering records, and the house's mysterious past before the children become part of a decades-old tragedy. Rayne's crisp and fast-paced writing deftly combines sharp characters, obscure legend, the panorama of 20th-century history, subtle romance, and even subtler melancholy, turning the picked-over bones of the haunted house story into something fresh and frequently terrifying. Even an abrupt and too-easy ending doesn't diminish the book's spine-tingling chill, merely leaving readers hungry for a sequel. --Publishers Weekly, May 30, 2011

Asked to check on an old house unexpectedly inherited by American friends, English professor Michael Flint travels to the Shropshire town of Marston Lacy and finds a property that seems to harbor a life of its own. When he makes the acquaintance of antiques dealer Nell West and discovers that her young daughter and the daughter of Charect House's new owner suffer from the same nightmares, Flint suspects that both girls are in danger from an entity that might be a ghost or something even more menacing. VERDICT Rayne (House of the Lost; What Lies Beneath) delivers another intriguing tale of psychological and supernatural suspense, working the contrast between the idyllic English countryside and the dark histories of its inhabitants into a delicious tension. Fans of haunted-house fiction and psychological suspense should particularly enjoy the final twist. -- Library Journal, June 15, 2011

Now approaching her third decade of a successful writing career, Rayne has established herself as one of the UK's most reliable sources of chilling horror fiction. Her latest novel embraces many common motifs from classic ghost tales: a haunted house, recurring nightmares, and hushed-up family secrets. Yet in Rayne's capable hands, the story of Charect House, a dilapidated Victorian house in Shropshire, inherited by a surprised New Jersey couple, becomes a chilling mystery from another era. Oxford professor Michael Flint's own unnerving encounter with the house and its spectral inhabitants is arranged when his American friends ask him to appraise its condition as a possible vacation home. While investigating the source of the shambling, chanting figure Michael observes, he meets a recently widowed antiques dealer, Nell West, whose nightmare-afflicted daughter is apparently abducted by the spirit. Together, the pair uncovers a gruesome story of madness and murder involving Charect House's previous inhabitants, as revealed in several dusty, long-hidden diaries. Once again Rayne delivers with an inventively plotted, goose-bumps inducing ghost story. -- Booklist, August 1, 2011

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9780727880284: Property of a Lady (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story)

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ISBN 10:  0727880284 ISBN 13:  9780727880284
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9780727879875: Property of a Lady (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story)

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Book Description Severn House Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. A house with a sinister past - and a grisly power - When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him - even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it's not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . . Seller Inventory # AAS9781847513472

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Book Description Severn House Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. A house with a sinister past - and a grisly power - When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him - even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it's not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . . Seller Inventory # APC9781847513472

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Book Description Severn House Publishers. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.4in. x 0.9in.A house with a sinister past and a grisly power - When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But its not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . . This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781847513472

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