Jena Henry's Reviews > The House of Secrets

The House of Secrets by Terry Lynn Thomas
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really liked it

Sarah is Dr. Geisler’s amanuensis. How many times have you encountered that term in a book? I looked up the unfamiliar word. “Amanuensis” is a “literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.” Sort of has an old-world charm to it, doesn’t it?

The House of Secrets has an other-worldly charm to it. I found it similar to the writing of Daphne DuMaurier with its assortment of odd, yet compelling characters and a plot on dark side with many psychological twists and turns. Like DuMaurier’s brooding, atmospheric stories, this book with its secrets is very readable.

Other reviewers have found this Secrets to be part historical fiction, paranormal, mystery, and romance. The story is set during World War II in San Francisco. The history part is more a spice added to the main dish. The main dish involves ghosts and mediums, and evil happenings. Sarah is alone in the world when she turns up at the Geisler Institute to live-in and work with Dr. Geisler on his medical book.

Sarah is plagued by visits from “beyond the veil”. Dr. Geisler recognizes that she is a medium and he promises to help her cope with her ability. In addition to Sarah, the Institute shelters a variety of strange-ish characters, all very well drawn. Minna has a lot to worry about as she fears she is being haunted by a murderous spirit. Dr. Geisler’s wife is a counterpoint to his understanding nature, as she is all business. And why is Sarah’s absent lover now living at the Institute? Other characters, such as the cook, and several characters on the hospital side of the house add to our reading pleasure and squirmishness. Sarah is fortunate to have a sophisticated friend through all this, Cynthia.

I’m glad I’m not a medium. The ghosts are too bothersome and always weeping. But they are fun to read about. This the second book in the Sarah Bennett Mysteries. While I did not read the first book, and I did enjoy this story, I suggest you do read the series in order. The happenings of book one are mentioned frequently in this book and had a big impact on Sarah. Enjoy!

Thanks to NetGalley, HQ Digital and Rachel’s Random Reviews for a digital review copy. This is my honest review.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 30, 2019 – Shelved

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