By Wendy Webb
Hyperion Books, Paperback, 9781401341947, 290pp.
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
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.
"A deliciously complex blend of psychological suspense and ghost story, THE VANISHING is pitch-perfect on every note, from its mansion setting in the pine-scented northern wilderness, to the secrets and specters lurking around every corner."
-Erin Hart, author of The Book of Killowen
"A brisk thriller tinged with gothic elements.... Careening through séances and ghostly encounters leaves the reader breathless."
"Webb once again mines the secrets of an old mansion for an effective contemporary supernatural thriller."
"Webb expertly builds suspense and offers a thought-provoking tease in the final pages."
"The haunting twists and turns of THE VANISHING left me as breathless as the beautiful setting of Havenwood itself. Reminiscent of the classics The Haunting of Hill House and Rebecca, this novel grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go. A comelling, frightening, deeply satisfying tale that is as rich in setting as it is in storytelling."
-Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy
"[The] opening line of Wendy Webb's contemporary Gothic thriller, THE VANISHING, pays homage to DuMaurier's classic [Rebecca]. But Webb infuses her narrator, Julia Bishop, with modern sensibilities, and manipulates the genre's melodrama skillfully."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune