Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: The Vanishing by Wendy Webb


Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead.

When she arrives at the Sinclairs' enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her "too-good-to-be-true" position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.

Publication Date: January 21. 2014

The Vanishing had all the trappings of a good ghost story: the mysterious manor with a dark past, a horror writer and a troubled unreliable narrator. The suspense was slow-building and there were certainly some scenes where I had to put the book aside because the creep factor was high.

Julia is swept away at the start of the story to a spooky and isolated manor under the guise of being a companion to famed horror novelist Amaris Sinclair. As soon as Julia arrives, she begins to see the ghosts of Havenwood. Julia and readers are unsure of what she sees and hears is real because of Julia’s delicate mental state. She had been taking psychotropic drugs and withdrawal from the meds can cause side effects including hallucinations.

I loved a lot of the secondary characters. As soon as Drew entered the picture, I was swooning over his Scottish brogue. Mrs. Sinclair was also great and I loved how she helped provide some levity to the plot. There were a few slow parts that I found myself skimming over. I liked that the author took the time to detail everything about the manor, but it did make the plot lag at times.

The Vanishing had a touch of romance, mystery and suspense as Julia fears an evil is closing in on Havenwood. This was the first book I picked up from the author, but I would certainly read more of her work.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of The Vanishing for review!


  1. Sad to hear there were slow parts, but happy to hear there was plenty creepiness and good characters. I'm glad you enjoyed The Vanishing. I've heard some good stuff about it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. This sounds like a really cool book. I love a good mystery; and, one that has a writer it in? Win! :) Awesome review, Heather. Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!