Print Length: 298 pages
Publisher:  Poisoned Pen Press (December 11, 2017)

From Goodreads.com:  Some secrets are better left forgotten...

Daniel is desperate for a fresh start. So when a mysterious figure slides a note under his door offering the position of groundskeeper at an ancient estate, he leaps at the chance, even though it seems too good to be true. Alarm bells start ringing when he arrives at Craven Manor. The abandoned mansion's front door hangs open, and leaves and cobwebs coat the marble foyer. It's clear no one has lived here in a long time...but he has nowhere else to go.

Against his better judgment, he moves into the groundskeeper's cottage tucked away behind the old family crypt. But when a candle flickers to life in the abandoned tower window, Daniel realizes he isn't alone after all. Craven Manor is hiding a terrible secret...

One that threatens to bury him with it.


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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

At first, I liked Daniel. He was a guy who even when down on his luck cared more for others than he did for himself (as evidenced when he gave the meat from his sandwich to a hungry dog when he himself had nothing else). But as the story went on, I realized that he really had no care for his own life or his employment. 

His employment came with a few rules, most of which he broke within days of his accepting the offer and taking up residence in the gardener's cottage. He opened his curtains, he came in after curfew. He (albeit accidentally) allowed his wastrel of a cousin to follow him and attempt to ransack the property. And yet, his employer not only forgave him, but revealed himself to him and told him bits and pieces of the family history. 

But of course, in true horror fashion, Bran doesn't reveal enough of himself so that Daniel's cousin can easily twist his view of his otherwise benevolent employer. A story that is corroborated by an elderly neighbor of his cousin's. 

So OF COURSE, Daniel goes back (because again he has no care for his own life as he has already demonstrated), but he then breaks the biggest, supposedly most unforgivable sin and opens the tower door. And is not only forgiven for THAT as well, but his employer actually takes the blame because he "didn't tell him the entire truth". 

From there on out it went into an overly long, drawn out "life or death" match that I frankly grew bored of. The ending was predictable and left me wondering why I still have this author's other works on my "to read" list. 

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                                          Craven Manor is available from Amazon.com 
                                          (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)