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Five Mile House by Karen Novak

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Published 2000
Genre: Ghost story
Pages: 228

Leslie Stone is a New York detective who snaps and kills the suspect in the brutal murder of a child during the initial interview process. After a stint in a mental hospital she and her family head to the small town of Wellington for a fresh start. Leslie’s husband is hired to do the restoration of the historic Five Mile House. It was where, over a hundred years ago, that Eleanor Bly killed her children and then herself by jumping from the tower window . . . or did she?

This is a combination of ghost/haunted house story and traditional mystery. The town of Wellington is full of secrets from the past and present. It’s a town with a mysterious house, a coven of Wiccans, and a history that includes a mass poisoning at a brothel. When Leslie discovers that she looks almost exactly like the long deceased Eleanor Bly, she starts looking into the deaths of Eleanor and her children and the history of Five Mile House. Eleanor’s ghost tells her story interspersed with the telling of Leslie’s story of the present time.

This book was an interesting mix of detective story and ghost story with a coven of witches and an ancient manuscript tossed in for good measure. The tension builds as the two parallel stories head to their conclusion. The last 50 pages or so are real page turners.

I have to say that Leslie is not a wholly likeable character, and some of the supporting characters are a bit wooden. It’s a short book, though, so there aren’t a lot of pages to develop both the characters and the many mysteries. The author has since written more books with Leslie as the main character, so I might check those out.


Bookfool 9/18/2007 8:07 PM  

Doesn't sound like you were thrilled with this one, but the last-50-pages comment is positive.

SuziQoregon 9/19/2007 7:32 AM  

Bookfool: I had very mixed feelings about this one. Parts were really good and other parts were very 'first novel' feeling. I'm going to read at least one more by her.

Callista 9/19/2007 2:22 PM  

I've never heard of it but I just finished my second RIP II book and loved it. I'll be posting a review tomorrow.

I've tagged you for a book meme here.

SuziQoregon 9/20/2007 7:19 PM  

Thanks for stopping by Callista - need to go check out what you're reading for RIP II

Nyssaneala 9/21/2007 3:57 PM  

The plot sounds really interesting, I might check it out someday even with the so-so review.

jenclair 9/21/2007 5:42 PM  

If I see it at the library, I'll grab it, but since you have mixed feelings, I won't order. I do like historic houses, though...

SuziQoregon 9/21/2007 9:21 PM  

Nyssaneala: it had it's good parts. I'll read at least one more by her.

Jenclair: Library is good!

Framed 9/22/2007 3:09 PM  

The storyline sounds so interesting. I'll wait and see how you like another book by this author before checking it out.

SuziQoregon 9/23/2007 8:10 PM  

Framed: hee hee - make me go first, huh?


Rhinoa 10/01/2007 9:56 AM  

That sounds pretty interesting. I wonder if the other books develop things a bit more. Do you think you will read them?

SuziQoregon 10/04/2007 7:47 PM  

Rhinoa: I'll at least give one more a try.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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