Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Shadows Waiting" by Anne Eliot

Published:  1969
Setting:  Modern Day

There could be no blackness blacker than what I faced. I looked wildly around. There was no escape anywhere from the all-enveloping depths of night. Whatever I did, wherever I moved, I was surrounded by blackness. But I could not retreat now. I stopped and felt below the gaping hole and found the lintel, a row of stones a foot high. I stepped over it and was inside- something. I moved a pace forward and stopped. Behind me there came a chuckle, just a host of a please chuckle and a ghost of a thud. I put my hand behind me. I must get out. My hand found only rough stone. The wall had closed behind me.

I panicked. I threw myself against it and beat with my hands and called to the unknown to let me out. I tried entreaties, and stopped at last, breathless. It was another joke, of course, by someone. Soon someone would come and open that stone wall. I would have to be patient. Gasping, I leaned against the wall and waited. Nothing happened except that my breathing became more quiet. My palm stung as if I had scraped it. Perhaps, for some reason, I would have to wait a few minutes. Then, at least, I thought, I should see where I was, and why.

Almost reluctantly I puled out the flashlight and switched it on. And screamd again. “The night has a thousand eyes,” I babbled.

Across the space they leaped at me, rows and clusters and pinpoints of light, unwinking, malevolent pinpoints, watching me...

Inside Cover Synopsis:

The Chateau of Laurais looked stately yet welcoming in the clear moonlight as Jenny Warren approached it in her little car one evening in June. She knew that the romantic building held many treasures and secrets; secrets she was determined to penetrate, if only because it would pelase her beloved Oliver, back in Boston.

Sent to France on an ample budget by the terms of her aunt's will, Jenny had decided she would go to stay at Laurais, meet the young owner, and catalog for herself the fine porcelains and other art objects he had been sending to Oliver to be sold in America. Within a few days she realized that her role in the chateau was more than that. She had been shot at in the woods, her room had been searched, and she had been warned to leave Laurais or face the consequences.

Who was her enemy? Was it Dr. Collomore, the saturnine art expert, the blon German Valkyrie who was her fellow guest, her hadsome host, or his difficult lawyer friend who wanted to sell the whole collection at auction? Where was the priceless Book of Hours, the real object of her quest?

Suspense mounts as Jenny finds herself embroidered in an intrigue of deception, danger, and romance.

True to the original elements of a true gothic romance novel, this is one of the best I have read in quite a while!

Fueled by unrequited love, Jenny partakes upon herself the responsibility of traveling to a foreign country in search of a lost treasure that will bring her true love, imbittered by a disability, enough fortune to buy his own happiness. Although she goes in search of a historical relic work millions, the ancient Book of Hours, she finds herself doing more treasure-hunting which inadvertently pulls her into a dangerous game of old betrayals of war, murder, and stolen treasure.

As bodies start dropping around her, Jenny must keep her wits...or ultimately she'll die.

I'd recommend this read to any gothic romance fan. It's also a great traveling adventure for those who enjoy a good store about one who vacations abroad.

Best Gothic Elements: This novel contains everything that creates a true, compelling gothic romance read: a girl with no family inherits her aunt's riches, under stipulation of a will she travels to a foreign country; unrequited love that sends her into a journey straight from her nightmares. Hidden treasure, murder, historical espionage and bitter familial feuds and betrayal. A bit of a history lesson even lies between the sordid details of Jenny's nightmarish voyage.

5 Stars

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