An old, secluded house sitting on the edge of a cliff in Anglesey, Wales, with mysterious inhabitants wandering secret rooms, dark family history, strange noises and gothic vibes set the stage for Anne Wyn Clark’s latest thriller. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to dive in!
As a child, Lowri spent summers on the island of Anglesey with her dear Aunt Gywn. She wasn’t privy to the information about a falling out that led to her never returning to see her Aunt again. Now, a solicitor has contacted Lowri to say her Aunt has passed away, and having recently lost her own husband Lowri welcomes the chance to get away. She travels with her young daughter Ruby to the beautiful island, returning to the old house she fondly remembers from her youth to attend her aunt’s funeral and reminiscent. Almost immediately, bizarre things begin happening with Ruby repeatedly talking about a mysterious, old woman appearing and leaving her a tattered old doll. Adding to the weird vibes wafting on the dank air permeating the old home are the other odd occupants of the house. Who are they and what purpose do they serve? Lowri has many unanswered questions when Ruby vanishes. With no sign of her child, she turns toward her own dark, family history and starts probing for answers. In doing so, skeletons are rattled, threatening to leak secrets buried long ago making someone edgy. Lowri comes to realize Ruby isn’t the only one in danger. All is not as it seems in the mysterious house on the cliff. Time is running out.
The Last House on the Cliff is a tension laden, multilayered story that unfolds through past/present chapters mostly from Lowri’s point of view with a couple of exceptions. Several convoluted plot lines twist and tangle over the course of the book which may leave some readers a bit befuddled. My advice is to hold the course and give the many layers of this story a chance to gel as they will later. The author has left tidbits of information sprinkled like breadcrumbs throughout, and it would behoove readers to pay attention to these minute details less they come back to haunt them.
As the story progresses, the pace picks up and the mystery deepens until the mad rush near the end. Clark’s a master at manipulating atmosphere to propel a story forward, and in this book it’s highly effective in governing the tone from beginning to end. With a spooky old house, secret passages, missing children, objects appearing and skeletons rattling, suffice it to say the creep factor is over the top. The Last House on the Cliff has a lot to offer fans of mysteries and suspense thrillers, and I’m loving the paranormal vibes.
Gothic Suspense Features