In this debut novel by Jaime Jo Wright, mystery and romance collide in a dual-narrative that takes us across time and generations to solve the dark secrets behind The House on Foster Hill.
From the Publisher:
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives–including her own–are lost?
The initial few chapters of this book were fast-paced page-turners. The suspense was set from the start and I appreciated the authors writing style and ability to draw a reader in within the first few pages. But while the book started off strong, the suspense aspect began to lose steam a quarter of the way through. The mystery surrounding Foster Hill held a lot of potential but I was ultimately a little disappointed with how it played out.
The modern-day narrative follows a woman named Kaine as she tries to come to grips with the death of her husband. Taunted by an unknown stalker, Kaine believes her husband’s death to be anything but accidental. While this plotline is interesting and action-packed, I was disappointed that the story quickly morphed into a Christian romance novel with only slight traces of the thriller that started out so promisingly.
The second narrative (set a century earlier and involving Kaine’s great-grandmother) came across as a MUCH stronger story — and I really enjoyed this half of the book. Ivy is strong-willed, intriguing, and a more interesting and likable character.
All in all, I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.
Had this book been marketed as a Christian Romance (rather than a thriller) I would have gone into it with different expectations. As a romance, it was great. But as a thriller, I felt the book lacked a strong conclusion to the suspense built into the first few chapters. Still, the mystery aspect to the book managed to hold my interest and I arrived at the last few chapters curious as to how it would all unravel. I would certainly give future novels by this author another chance.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”