The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower: A haunted house mystery (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story) - Sarah Rayne

I may have accidentally finished the entire book in pretty much one sitting.

 

Now, admittedly, that's not terribly uncommon for me, but still, this was a lot of fun to read once I got into it.

 

I enjoyed the alternating viewpoints and the jumping back and forth in time. I was not expecting quite so much of this, and at one point when the viewpoint was on a character who was reading a diary of someone who was reading a diary, I did have to step back and go "woah," but it worked just fine and I didn't have any trouble keeping track of what was going on, though occasionally figuring out who knew what was trickier.

 

That's part of the fun of the book, though, personally. We, as readers, are much more aware of the history of things than the characters individually are, simply because we get to be in the heads (and reading over the shoulders) of all the characters. Each character has a piece of a very old puzzle, and putting them together was a lot of fun.

 

The characters themselves are interesting. I certainly didn't agree with all of their choices (we are not necessarily talking about good people all the time, here, and there is some weird stuff going on), but I was enthralled enough to overlook that. They were acting generally rationally given the information they had, and sometimes that's hard to pull off.

 

There were some twists I did not see coming, and I made a few wrong guesses along the way, which I always appreciate. Mysteries should not be totally obvious.

 

And this is a mystery, for all that "haunted house" seems to summon "horror". This is more Barbara Michaels-style than Stephen King, and I love that.

 

This appears to be the start of a series, which excites me, especially since there was a bit less "haunted house" in this one than I was hoping. I'll definitely be picking up the next ones, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

 

This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.