Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left—his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie’s anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn’t know where to turn.
Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint Bed and Breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.
Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever.
What will you sacrifice for love?
An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to turn the page to the very end.
A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.
Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers is a book with a lot of unmet potential, to put things nicely. It’s clear the author spent a lot of time planning his story out, but beyond that… well, it’s lacking. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the book is written in passive voice–a pet peeve of mine. Passive voice really disrupts my flow and, despite having read the most recent edition sent to me by the author, I feel the book could use another go-over from an editor.
The characters of Ghosts of Manor House exist, in so much as the fact that they are present in the book. If you’re looking for a reason to get attached to any of them though, you won’t find it. There’s a strange sort of distance between the reader and the main characters, Edmund and Charlie. There’s also no depth to either of them. In fact, there’s more of a connection to minor characters. I absolutely hate it when I can’t feel any sort of emotion for a fictional character; it makes whatever happens to them less severe. When it comes to horror, this is a huge letdown. I want to feel fear for the protagonist in a story, I want to be on the edge of my seat with excitement. In this book… there was none of that.
When it comes to plot, Ghosts of Manor House is a mixed bag of tricks and treats. There’s several continuity issues and the whole use of some wacky sort of time travel is a huge turn off. It took me a little while to realize what was going on because Powers doesn’t explain or note the presence of this science-fiction element. Additionally, the locale changes from Hope County to Salem County, though after that change, Powers sticks with the latter. On the good side of things, Powers certainly excels at detailing a haunted location. If you’ve read Kill Creek, you might remember the main character, Sam McGarver, lecturing about the importance of this in horror novels. A well-thought out history for these spooky places is paramount to maintaining interest and in Ghosts of Manor House, Manor House’s past is most definitely intriguing.
Overall, I feel like there’s a lot that went to waste with this book. While it is deliciously short, I would have preferred reading something longer, where I could actually develop feelings and connections to the characters, as opposed to feeling like I watched a dull movie. I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.