‘Secrets of Hallstead House’ – Amy M. Reade
Macy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead. But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions.
Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming. Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…
About the author:
Amy M. Reade is a debut author of romantic suspense. A native of upstate New York, she grew up in the Thousand Islands region and was inspired by the natural beauty of that area to write her first novel, ‘Secrets of Hallstead House’. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a Bouvier des Flandres named Orly, and two rescued cats who refuse to answer to their names of Porthos and Athos.
Upon graduation from Cornell University and Indiana University School of Law, Amy practiced law in New York City, but soon discovered that her dream job was writing. In addition to volunteering with school, church, and community groups, Amy is currently working on her second novel, set in the area around Charleston, South Carolina.
Though Amy lives within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, she is partial to the blue waters of the Pacific and spends as much time as possible on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the setting of her as-yet-unwritten third novel.
Family ties, deceit and a murder mystery, ‘Secrets of Hallstead House’ becomes a “who dunnit” story as readers follow Macy in her search for answers. With a bit of romance and plenty of characters to suspect, I found myself pointing the finger of blame towards many of the cast.
That being said, I did hope that there would be a bit more substance to the mystery that Macy is trying to solve. True, I did not predict the ending but the red herrings became quite obvious as the plot developed. As I have already mentioned, I suspected many characters and think this was because I was hoping author would offer something a little “juicer” than what this novel provides.
Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the directions that the plot took and thought that this made ‘Secrets of Hallstead House’ more of a refreshing read. I don’t think this was maintained throughout the story and am sorry to say that I found it lacking in pace at times.
This is the first book that I have read by author and whilst I enjoyed the secrets that Macy uncovers, wish there had been many more twists and turns along the way. It is a little too wordy with too much intricate detail being provided and I think this lessened my enjoyment of the story. However, if you are after a quick mystery read one afternoon, then I think this would be a suitable choice because there are enough surprises to keep you guessing, even if it is just a little bit.
This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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