I have been a fan of this author ever since I read her wonderful bestselling book, "Lady of Hay". So, I looked forward to reading this, her latest book, which has supernatural portents and characters from another place and time.
In this book, the mid-seventeenth century and the present converge. Ghosts from the time of Oliver Cromwell, when Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, unjustly persecuted women in some rural communities in North Essex for being witches, are stirring. With Halloween on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before they make their presence felt.
Emma Dickinson, a high-powered business executive finds herself inexorably drawn to a quaint cottage in a rural community in North Essex, where, as a child, she had spent some time. Leaving behind her lover and significant other, she buys her dream cottage, which long ago belonged to a herbalist named Liza who met her end at the hands of the Witchfinder General. When Emma moves into the cottage, she begins having a series of nightmares of a past that she cannot bear to remember.
Unbeknownst to her, Mike Sinclair, the handsome new rector of her parish, likewise finds himself consumed by images of the past. A voice in his head interjects concepts and feelings that are alien to Mike. He is at a loss to explain what is happening and does not know that he is barreling towards a climax that will be decisive in determining whether the forces of evil or good will prevail.
The author, a master storyteller, weaves a tale that is engaging, but the quality of the writing, however, is uneven, and some of the characters are not fully-fleshed. Moreover, the book could have benefited from some better editing. Nonetheless, while the book falls somewhat short of the standards that this author herself has set, it is still a moderately entertaining book that fans of the author will, in some measure, enjoy.