My second choice for Amazon FirstReads was Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti. (Read about the first, The Haunting of Brynn Wilder here.) A book of suspense and psychological thrills, this read was definitely more up my alley. I love that rush of frantic-page turning and fear that keeps you from getting up to grab a glass of water in the night. Alas, this book wasn’t all that scary either. But I’ll tell you what, it did do a good job in the mystery department and it’s always fun to try to put the puzzle together yourself.
When Hanna’s aunt dies in a car accident, she return to her family’s castle where she spent three summers as a teen. It’s also the site where her sister mysteriously disappeared and the reason Hannah hasn’t returned in seventeen years. The local police tell her they don’t believe her aunt’s death was an accident and soon Hanna becomes obsessed with trying to uncover both mysteries. She soon uncovers that her sister isn’t the only girl who’s disappeared from the castle and she can’t help but question everything she’s known to be true.
As a spooky Halloween read, this missed the mark a little but the spiraling story made up for that. Hannah was a pretty well-rounded character, even if she did have a bit of a short temper with her fiance, and her life circumstances while extremely sad and unfortunate were believable. I enjoyed how part of the mystery lied in the past requiring time jumps back to her childhood summers every now and again further deepening the mystery by also involving people in the town. The big, vacant castle gave the story just enough of a creepy Gothic feel to it without feeling like a cheesy rip-off of a classic novel.
It was a pretty good read, something I enjoyed but not something I’d read again so I gave it a 4/5 ⭐s