Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HAUNT ME STILL by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Publisher: Dutton
Date published: April 2010
ISBN: 9780525950776
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by library

An expert in the occult Shakespeare, Kate Stanley is called to Scotland and the mysterious Lady Nairn with a strange request – to find a missing manuscript. Not just any manuscript, but one which never really saw the light of day but could hold a key to the man behind the playwright. What adds to the mystery is that it is a version of the Scottish Play, aka, Macbeth. Upon her arrival to the far north she is met not only by Lady Nairn, but a host of others, each with their own dreams, desires and goals that make the missing manuscript all the more intriguing. Lady Nairn has planned to use her vast collection of Macbeth related memorabilia as part of a presentation of Shakespeare’s shortest play.

Among the guests is a well known actress, one who is known for her beauty as well as her acting skill. Whispers surround her with speculation of a new man in her life. While Kate has little interest in the woman’s social life, she is intrigued when her former lover, Ben Pearl arrives and it isn’t long before Kate wonders at her decision to let him go.

Ben, the man she fell for and lost because her career was just taking off and she put it before him. Ben with the mysterious past who now works in securities – not the money kind, the safety kind. Ben who still tugs at her heart strings. When bodies began to mount in Kate’s path and a young girl is kidnapped, Kate has no choice but to pursue what could be evil personified.

All I can say about HAUNT ME STILL is wow. What a stunner! I wasn’t very impressed with Jennifer Lee Carrell’s first book, INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES mainly because I felt if you don’t know Shakespeare in, out, upside down and right side up, you feel lost in much of what is going on in that book. The first person point of view in that book leaves you feeling left out and with little or no connection to the characters. HAUNT ME STILL is a tremendous 180 from INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES. Historical information on Shakespeare and the theories behind Macbeth and the drama of the witches and Lady Macbeth are marvelously presented. When Ben arrives in Scotland after their break up several months before, I hoped for a spark of romance. Ms. Carrell pulls a twist on Kate I didn’t expect. At first I was disappointed but it added much depth to the story. And what she did at the end! Bravo! It definitely tantalized my imagination. What disappointed me though was when I went to look, there is no promise of a third book! And I do hope there is one because she is definitely on a roll now.

Ms. Carrell weaves a bit of historical fiction in between a well thought out murder mystery coupled with a thriller. As I said, I had a hard time putting the book down and missed the characters when it ended. If no other book finds its way to your TBR this year, HAUNT ME STILL is a must.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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