Marsha's Reviews > Evil of Dark Harbor

Evil of Dark Harbor by Clarissa Ross
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Jun 10, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: horror, literature-fiction, romance, mystery-thriller
Read from June 07 to 09, 2012

This novel is a tale-within-a-tale story as an old sea dog tells a young woman about the dark past of a fallen-down mansion due for demolition in the near future.

An old-fashioned Gothic horror romance takes place on a lonely island. All the usual elements are here: a beleaguered beautiful heroine, a tortured handsome man with a sad past, dark secrets, forbidden romance, foggy weather, cryptic sayings and mysterious hauntings. The Hall family is supposedly under a curse imposed by an angry ghost after a monk was rudely turned away from the house and froze to death. A curse also seems to follow the heroine, as she labors under suspicion due to the tragic death of a young girl under her care and recurring accidents that place her present charges in considerable danger.

But the hauntings make no sense since they are only glimpsed by the governess, a woman without family blood ties to the Halls and only a recent arrival on the island itself. The romance also fails to engage as chaste kisses bring nothing but bemusement to the heroine’s mind without the attendant passion, breathless confusion or tortured worry over being propositioned by two male members of the family, both of them above her in station. There is more tension between Sabrina Wyler and her jealous rival Ann Gray than there is between the governess and her two love interests.

The mystery itself falls flat. There are no surprises, in spite of the constant appearance of a hooded figure meant to be the monk. The killer is fairly obvious without even the twist I was hoping would appear from a likely corner. The ending neatly ties up all the loose ends, leaving only Irene Moore to make up her mind about whom she will marry. In short, this is a very boring and trite mystery.
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Reading Progress

06/07/2012 page 10
4.0% "They parted for a while and she moved among the other guests. The party went by quickly and soon everybody began to leave. when the last of the other guests had gone, she and the Taylors returned tot he patio to find the young museum director waiting."
06/08/2012 page 96
42.0% "The door opened and Dennis Hall entered. He saw her and his handsome face took on an awed expression. He stared at her hesitantly for a moment. Then he slowly limped across to her and placed his arm around her. He touched his lips to hers in a gentle kiss that lasted for a moment. Then an abrupt change came over him.
"Forgive me!" he exclaimed. "That was unforgivable fo me!""
06/09/2012 page 164
72.0% "She looked up and what she saw on the edge of the cliffs made her gasp. Outlined against the nearly cloudless sky was a stocky figure which she was sure was Tod’s. And now he crouched over the ledge, and to her horror she saw that he had pushed a huge boulder over the cliff to start a landslide. The boulder bounced and came tumbling down the cliff face bringing a mass of rocks and dirt with it."

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