“I have news, Aunt Jo.” I sealed the drawing room door behind me and leaned back against the heavy wood. “But it’s not what I hoped.”– The opening lines of Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson
Set in 1813, Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson emphasizes the struggle single, young women faced. Rebecca, having lost her parents and brother, is forced to be under the guardianship of the unknown Mr Browning, the inheritor of their wealth. Independent in spirit and mind, Rebecca bucks against the traces but, along with Aunt Jo, she has no alternative to moving to Greybourne Hall and live with Mr Browning.
Lewis Browning is an enigma to both Rebecca and his neighbours. Suspected of killing Jacob, Rebecca’s brother, the atmosphere is hostile and he does little to help himself and assuage the worry of those around him disappearing at odd hours. Rebecca begins her own investigation into her brother’s death and the death of another swiftly finding herself in hot water and more confused by Lewis than ever.
Written with a gothic romance mystery style, there is a wonderful eerieness throughout the book. Candles blown out, strange dreams and mysterious masked figures weave in and out of the narrative. The story itself is a tangled and clever web which Rebecca unravels with a surprising twist at the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. The characters are interesting and the pace is swift. I highly recommend it, five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.
From the back cover:
After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.
Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.
Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson – Fiction through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.