This novel literally begins with a bang, a lead-up to a graphic tragedy which changes the destiny of a famed family and of a community. Then, leaping ahead thirty years, a new path ensues. John and Mary Hilt of Colorado have contracted to prepare a long-abandoned estate for charity auction. Isolated, rural, located in a locale of suspicion, grief, and resentment, the mansion is an oddly-shaped structure, willed in perpetuity with an accompanying trust of twelve million dollars. Accompanied by their flighty college student daughter, Felicia, the couple soon discovers that the local communities have always held the Mandiev brothers-owners of the estate-responsible for the fatal carnival fire which resulted in many fatalities, allegedly including the brothers.
The sins and tragedies of the past won’t fade away, and supposedly the former Mandiev mansion is not only haunted, but cursed and dangerous. Myths and urban legends abound about the property, and even in the small nearby community strange events begin to occur.
I thought the novel could have been slimmed down and made a little tauter (and a tad less wordy), but all in all it did maintain its grip on my attention, and was suffused with surprises, changes, and convolutions which kept me turning pages.