Monday, November 17, 2014

The Pavilion: Mini-Review

Regan Carr is 20-ish and thought she was all alone in the world. Her mother has just passed away, but she then she receives a letter from her cousin Hurst Herald inviting her to come and live with him. She only saw Hurst once before--when she and her mother visited briefly when she was six years old. She arrives at the Herald house with a battered suitcase in hand to find a wreath on the door and that Cousin Hurst has passed away just the day before. The mansion is filled to the brim with creepy siblings and greedy in-laws and despite what most of them say, Regan doesn't feel very welcome. She's stashed in a tiny, freezing room at the back of the house--reserved, as one of the servants tells her, for "the extras, single folks, odd people, and so on." She does manage to find a few friends--her handsome cousin Fray and the older servants, Katy and Jenny. She's going to need friends...for as she helps Fray sort through Cousin Hurst's papers it begins to look like his death wasn't as natural as the doctor believed. And he may not have been the first of the family to be murdered. If the murderer has his or her way, he might not be the last either.

This is a fairly decent, Southern Gothic mystery. Heavy on weird atmosphere and crazy inmates in the mansion. No real sleuth involved--just Fray and Regan going through papers and Regan remembering incidents from her visit as a child. The result is a slow build-up to a rather confusing ending. It took me a second run-through on the final scenes to figure it out. This is the second Lawrence novel I've read and I haven't quite gotten the hang of her yet. (There's another waiting in the wings to be read.) Looking back at my review for Blood Upon the Snow--it would seem that confusing wrap-up scenes are Lawrence's stock-in-trade. That was my comment then as well. However, this time round I did become more involved with the characters--at least with Regan and Fray, so I'm upping my rating to ★★  and 3/4. Rounded to three on Goodreads.

1 comment:

fredamans said...

Not sure I would read this one, but wonder if this was made into a film?
Any rate, great review!