NOTE: There are minor spoilers!
‘Sarah Reddington traveled to far-away Maine to escape the chaos of the windy city. She wanted to concentrate on completing her novel and enjoy the peaceful quiet of the Atlantic’s craggy shore. Although she was the only registered guest staying in an elegant, but quaint Victorian Inn, subsequent events quickly placed her writing on hold. The haunting cries that echoed around her made her question not only her own mortality, but made it difficult for her to decipher between fiction and insanity. This is an old-fashioned ghost story through-through that will keep you guessing until the last written word.”
Haunted Echoes follows novelist Sarah Reddington as she works toward writing her second book. She takes a trip to Maine in the hopes of finally getting rid of her writer’s block. Sarah starts off well, writing everyday but soon the quaint inn she is staying in starts to echo with odd sounds in the middle of the night. Banging against the wall. The feeling that someone is watching her as she travels within the house. The sound of a little girl’s voice. Even Sarah’s dog, Dickens, notices the strange occurrences, barking and acting out as he too, catches glimpses of what’s haunting the Otter Cove Inn. Sarah soon discovers the Otter Cove Inn was condemned many years back because of vicious murders that had taken place within its walls. But how can that be? How can Sarah be staying at a place that has been closed down and boarded up for years? As Sarah starts to put the pieces together, the spirit of Otter Cove Inn is noticing and has it’s own ideas for making sure Sarah never finds her way back out again.
I truly enjoyed reading Haunted Echoes. The book is short, only two hundred and two pages. I loved the descriptions of the Otter Cove Inn. Author Julie Ann Howell does a beautiful job of bringing the scenes vividly to life throughout the novel. I felt like I was immersed in the story. I also loved the suspense. Howell kept you longing to read more, to keep tracking down the clues along with Sarah to find out the truth. The pace of the book was great for most of the book until the chapters where Sarah’s sister Abbey comes into play then the pacing started feeling too rushed.
As much as I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed with the last forty pages only because they were very rushed. The ending only made sense to me after I read it three times. I would have preferred Howell had taken more time to develop the last few pages better. As a reader I would have wanted to see what Sarah was going through once she had gotten taken by the spirit. I also would have wanted the scene where Abby and the Riley (the police officfer) go in to try to save her better developed. The scene just goes straight from them entering the house to finding Abby’s daughter (which had only been taken a few pages before) and then to Sarah being saved. The ending wasn’t developed enough. I felt like I was gipped to a degree. But I did enjoy the very last scene of the book (once I reread the ending three times and understood what the heck happened)! That was a very cool way to end the book. Very surprising and made me wish Howell would write a sequel somehow to Haunted Echoes.
Haunted Echoes is an all around old-fashioned ghost story, as it promises to be, but the ending gives it a very nice twist you wouldn’t have expected. This book is well worth the time to read! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
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