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The Devil's Mansion #1

The Wyckham House

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From the author of MALAKH comes a dark tale of black magic, obsession, and the price of covenants with the fallen.

The Wyckham House has stood for centuries, its origin unknown, its history black and bloody. Aaron Schaefer came away from his experience with “the devil’s mansion” with amnesia and an aversion to specific people…and to the full moon.

When Kimberly Owens’ father disappears in Aaron’s town, she gives no heed to the potential danger. Reckless and rash, armed only with a borrowed identity, a false sense of indestructibility, and a precognitive dream that leads her to Aaron, she breezes into town – only to find herself entangled in the sticky web of a black magic priest whose obsession with her grows with every passing day.

As Kim becomes inexplicably ill and all evidence indicates her father left town of his own accord, she delves into Aaron’s mysterious past, searching for clues to lead her to her father. All evidence points to the Wyckham House.

Only one man has gone there and returned alive. But even if Aaron could remember what happened to him, he doesn’t want to.

Because there are worse things than death.

388 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 19, 2011

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About the author

Sharon Gerlach

11 books71 followers
I am a writer. Enough said. ;-)

I love to hear from my readers what worked for them and what didn't in my writing. I don't issue disclaimers or trigger warnings.

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5 stars
49 (25%)
4 stars
62 (31%)
3 stars
49 (25%)
2 stars
23 (11%)
1 star
12 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Leah Ford.
623 reviews2 followers
March 29, 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, I genuinely could not put it down. Not being a lover of dark horror stories I would never have read this book if it wasn’t picked as a book-club book.

This story covers almost everything horror and evil and dark. I didn’t find it full blown in your face throw the book across the room never to read a chapter again scary! I found it suspenseful and atmospheric, some descriptions made you wince, but there is also laugh out loud humour. Great banter that reads smooth and believable. There is also great loss and sadness and plenty of twists and turns.

The characters are fabulous, both the good and the evil. The descriptions of each character enables you to imagine them completely but without it being made too boring. They literately come to life on the pages in front of you. The description of Wyckham House and the surrounding area were enough to creep anyone out!

As the plot unfolds the story just keeps reeling you in deeper and deeper. Towards the end you just can’t read quick enough. Witches, werewolves, demons, evil angles, good angles and black magic…… all mixed in mostly folklore legends. Light and dark where goodness mostly wins and be evil at your peril. Not too over the top, but enough to make it an exciting tale.

This is a stand-alone story so don’t be put off that there is a second book, there is no cliff-hanger ending. So do yourself a favour and read this very well written story, I can’t recommend it enough. I will even get the next book by this author but I need light and fluffy before I tackle the next one!

Great read….
Profile Image for Emily.
152 reviews
February 7, 2014
Definitely not for the faint of heart. With very obvious overtones of ritual sacrifice, black magic, torture, and rape this book covers just about every element of darkness one could want, or fear. The author does it very well, too. If I had any complaints it would be that at times I just wanted things to move faster.

Right from the moment the main character enters the town that most of this takes place in, things just feel wrong. The sense of wrong is easily conveyed in the descriptive writing, and I love that the author sticks to her guns about darkness. The evil is evil. It doesn't need or want to be healed. It's not going to fall in love with you or suddenly find the light because of love or lust or anything else. No, this evil will happily break you before it eats you, just because it can. Very few writers can do beautiful, horrible evil, and do it well. It seems we've been overrun with darkness that suddenly becomes good, and it's refreshing to see that shattered and stomped on in this book.

Simply as a horror novel it stands alone with its dark, spooky, and uncompromising take on evil. I love it.
Profile Image for Lauralynn Elliott.
Author 21 books32 followers
January 23, 2012
I had read everything else by Sharon Gerlach and had been patiently waiting for this book to be released. It sounded so spooky. I was not disappointed. Wyckham House is dark and mysterious with elements of black magic, sacrifices, and evil, but also true love and hope. There are a couple of mysteries that do get solved before the end. This book kept me entertained, and I was satisfied at the conclusion. This author has a writing style that always pleases me, and I can't wait to read the next book.
Profile Image for Christel Grady.
111 reviews20 followers
December 28, 2011
I first read this book in its early, unedited form years ago, on a site called Writer's Cafe. Now many moons later, I've edited and (of course) read all of Sharon's books, although this one is still my favorite. I totally identify with Kim and Ron. Stayed tuned for her sequel to Wyckham House, title the Condemned, where we can watch as Kim's recklessness reeks more havoc on her life, and watch as Caleb become something almost endearing. Will there be redemption? Read and see...
Profile Image for Donna.
1,178 reviews
October 7, 2018
Good god, this book was insufferable. Like really, really bad. The writing was heinously florid, to the point of distraction. Way too much superfluous detail, again to the point of distraction. THE WYCKHAM HOUSE was way too long for its own good. It seriously could have been half its current length and it would have told the same story. And that cover . . . no. Running Ink Press was either a tiny indie that doesn’t seem to exist anymore or it was the author’s own brand, making it self-published. Either way I can make better covers than that. It’s difficult to even piece together what it’s showing. It just looks like it’s smudged.

Within the book itself were a fair amount of errors. Missing words, mostly. But enough that I kept noticing. Not that it took away from the story at all. Nothing could take away from it more than the writing itself. It just got in its own way. Instead of just describing something it often went on a tangent of word vomit. Voice appeared to be limited omniscient but thanks to the writing all the characters sounded the same. Everyone thought the same way, in similar words and cadences. It, along with the cover, was a smudge of things. For a horror novel it didn’t lend much to suspense or building of any kind of ambiance. It just dumped words.

The basic premise is Kim goes looking for her father in this little backwoods town and it happens to be hiding a secret: a witches cult using this old house in the woods as its base. People disappear, never to be seen again, and the one guy who went into Wyckham House and came out alive doesn’t remember anything that happened. Until Kim comes around and starts peeling back the layers.

The basic premise really isn’t bad. But the writing is. The plot buries itself under way too many words. You can have a character-driven horror novel, but the characters need to be autonomous from each other (they’re not) and being in the characters’ heads needs to be compelling (it wasn’t). So that doesn’t leave a whole lot for me to go on.

Needless to say I won’t be reading on in the series. I could barely claw my way through book one let alone think about picking up book 2. I don’t even remember how I came about this one. For free on iBooks, maybe? I don’t know. I’m almost positive I didn’t pay for it, which is a good thing. But I got what I paid for.

Profile Image for Lucinda.
Author 22 books1,308 followers
March 25, 2013
4 1/2 stars
This is a genre I would not normally choose but having already read two novels from the same author (in another genre), I was willing to give it a try. I downloaded the sample, and it was enough to hook me.
The writing is extremely compelling and the characters very realistic. The story, though dark in theme, has an element of pragmatism that made it easier for me to read.
I love this author and her writing style.
Profile Image for Missy.
44 reviews1 follower
September 28, 2012
This book had the right mix of mystery, love, witchcraft, and other paranormal elements. The characters are unforgetable as well as the plot. At first I was confused but after the first couple pages everything snapped into place. I read this book in two days, the whole time I was sitting on the edge of my seat. There are a few funny moments as well as sad.
Profile Image for Vicky.
896 reviews69 followers
June 21, 2013
Really 3 1/2 stars for me. Was a little long for the content. Still, good read for free!
Profile Image for elton dungan.
9 reviews
March 23, 2014
The ultimate haunted house story.

only this one was haunted by the devil I liked that these characters ran true bad was bad

nice read

Profile Image for D.L. Kelly.
Author 6 books25 followers
April 25, 2017
Scary and well written

Great characters, plot twists, werewolves, a coven & a haunted house that disappears. What else could you ask for? How about a hunky guy with a secret and a tough, heroic lady?
Enjoyed this book, highly recommend it, and will keep a lookout for more of Ms. Gerlach's books, even though she isn't a ninja!
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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