Pocket, Apr 2003, 6.99
Catherine Carmichael learns that she has been named as one of the heirs in her Uncle Malcolm Blount's estate. Catherine has not seen her deranged uncle, an author compared with Poe for his horror tales, since her mother fled their jointly shared upstate New York castle over two decades ago. Though she does not need the money, the London Symphony Orchestra concert pianist is curious about her renowned relative and wants to find out anything about her father who vanished just before her mother and she fled Ravenswood Castle.
At the castle, Catherine meets three other beneficiaries, actor Everett Steele, an illegitimate cousin Billy Fortune, and her uncle's agent Madeline Treadwell. The estate lawyer Jacob Steiner plays a video in which Malcolm manipulates everyone from the grave as he did in life to play in his game of inheritance. As Everett and Catherine fall in love strange things happen as if the castle possesses an evil presence that no one can escape as the ice has stranded everyone.
BENEATH THE RAVEN'S MOON is an intriguing modern day gothic romance with an eerie Twilight Zone twist that will shock the audience. The story line has all the elements of the sub-genre so much so that readers will feel the foreboding atmosphere through Catherine's concerns and contrast that with her growing love for Everett. Though some purists may dislike the closing coil, Emily LaFarge knits a delightful tale that most gothic fans will savor.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner