The Animals at Lockwood Manor – Jane Healey

Published by: Mantle
Pages: 352
Date released: 10/03/2020
Date read: 22/05/2020

Thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright is tasked with the evacuation and safekeeping of the natural history museum’s collection of mammals. Once she and her exhibits arrive at Lockwood Manor, however, where they are to stay for the duration of the war, Hetty soon realises that she’s taken on more than she’d bargained for.

Protecting her charges from the irascible Lord Lockwood and resentful servants is work enough, but when some of her animals go missing, and worse, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the house.

As the disasters mount, Hetty finds herself falling under the spell of Lucy, Lord Lockwood’s beautiful but clearly haunted daughter. But why is Lucy traumatised? Does she know something she’s not telling? And is there any truth to local rumours of ghosts and curses?

I’ll be honest, when I bought The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey, I didn’t actually know what it was about. But after reading favourable reviews and, let’s face it, falling in love with the beautiful front cover, I decided to give it a go.

And I’m glad I did.

I’m not normally one for suspense, mystery or thriller books, and it has often prevented me from giving a book a chance. But I’m glad it didn’t stop me this time.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. Jane’s ability to describe a scene and an amotion is so beautiful you can simply slot yourself into the action.

There are a few authors out at the moment who deserve the title of “Queen of gothic fiction”, and I think Jane Healey needs to be thrown into that mix. She has managed to write an incredibly atmospheric and terrifying story, with believable characters, and a beautiful narrative about it.

She has managed to find a fantastic balance between the reality of ghosts and physical monsters, and the ghosts and monsters we keep in our head. And I personally think that the monsters we keep in our head are more frightening than those we can see.

Whilst a sequel doesn’t necessarily beckon, I am desperate to know the rest of Hettie and Lucy’s story.

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