The Cross of St. Anne
Sunday, 5 July 2015
Written by: Gary Alan Ruse
Narrated by: Bill Burrows
Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
Publisher: Gary Alan Ruse
Available from Audible.com
3 Star Review
SummaryWhen New England antiques dealer Annie McCormick sells a religious relic to Curt Devereaux, the charming owner of a new museum on Jarritt's Island, she could not be happier. But when the relic she delivers turns up missing and Annie learns the ghostly secret of the sinister old mansion-turned-museum, her dream adventure becomes a nightmare that puts her life...her very soul...at risk!
My ReviewAnnie is driven to Curt's mansion by his chauffeur/handyman Spenser, she doesn't like him, he makes her feel somehow uneasy. Curt is not there to greet Annie, instead she is met by Karen who runs an hotel nearby, in her down time she assists with the planned museum. The two women take to each other immediately and Annie accepts Karen's invitation to tour the house.
On their return, Curt appears, and when the time comes to complete the delivery of the relic Annie is stunned to find that it's missing, but as she last saw it during the trip to the house she could only conclude that it had been stolen. Annie's nightmare begins.
She meets Curt's strange family who treat her with hostility and she finds staying in the mansion to be a creepy and scary experience, she wants to leave but the police and Curt want her to stay until the theft has been resolved. From her gloomy bedroom she witnesses strange goings on in the dead of night, why was Spenser out in the grounds carrying a shovel? In true sleuth fashion she ignores all risks to her safety and sneaks out to follow him, she almost gets the life scared out of her by the sinister cat. That's not the most frightening thing she is to experience! She finally gets to discover what lay beyond the locked door of the chapel.
This book is what I would call an almost cozy, it has all the cozy attributes: female comes across a crime; turns into amateur sleuth, abandons common sense to put life and limb at risk, and there is of course, a bit of romance. It's a good formula but this story is just a bit too sinister for the cozy label as there are some potentially disturbing accounts of occult and evil activities. The author certainly knows how to create atmosphere with some great descriptive writing, yet I didn't find it a compelling listen, and I certainly needed the denouement.
NarratorNarrated by Bill Burrows, who has a wonderful voice but I found his style too "announcer" like. I think if he'd maybe used a few more contractions, saying, for example "didn't" or "wouldn't" it would have sounded so much more natural. Still, this is just personal preference on my part.
This audiobook was provided by the author in return for an honest review.