Reviewed by Fehu
The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E Feeley Jr
3.25 Pants Off
While recovering from
the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call
from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune
and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the
past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.
in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over
the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the
sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange
things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb
his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor
threatens to tear Daniel apart.
Sherriff Hale Davis grew up
working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect
the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery
behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s
life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.
A haunted house and an heir who isn't aware of his family past, a great setting and a plotline I love, but the ping pong point of view, not so much. Daniel has recently lost his parents and after their death received a letter from his father’s sister, who invited him to visit her for his summer break from law school, an aunt he never heard of before. The story starts like a horror movie, a dark lonely street through the woods, rain and night and just Daniel in his car. A wolf distracts him and he nearly crashes, that's when he meets Hale, a local sheriff who has his suspicions about Daniel’s aunt house and who takes a special interest in Daniel.
Strange things begin to happen, when Daniel arrives, something awakens and gains strength in the house. The reader knows this since one of the switching POV's is the ghosts! I would have understood if the different point of views were from Daniel and Hale, but there was the maid, the aunt, the ghost, Daniel, Hale and the medium, for me it took away some of my focus and distracted from the storyline. It was more of a jumping from point to point than a straight line. The changing POV's might also be the reason why I didn't buy the romance or wasn't really focused on it.
I couldn't say if this was a romance or a bad horror movie, but since the romance was lackluster, I choose to read it for the ghost story. Still I ended frustrated with the book and had to take a break from it. Why? Well in a horror movie, don't you find it frustrating that the character goes down to the cellar, where the killer is, or opens the door after hearing all the strange noise, in a storm, when the power is out and he or she is all alone. Daniel’s behaving like a character in a horror movie and not the rational one and he wasn't the only one I was frustrated with, his aunt had made me also want to hit something.
So your fiancé dies, in your family house, he is pushed, when no one was home who could have done it, with the ring pushed down his throat. No reason to be suspicious or want to leave the house. Your mother dies, screaming that she saw your dead brother and that he was still around hounding her. Oh, well, why not stay in that charming place. Your brother saw the ghost and fled the house first moment he could. Oh, why don't we invite the son, the only remaining living family member into the house where all your family died, some under very strange circumstances. Reasonable, it's not like his father would have hated the idea, forbidden it or anything, oh no. So your solicitor dies in the house with a look of horror on his face when you find him, no reason to believe something was wrong there. Honestly, she takes oblivious to a new level or just plain delusional, with no shred of logic or self-preservation! She is rich and chooses to stay alone in the house where all her family died. Why???? She admits that after the death of her fiancé she was afraid anyone she'd bring into the house would die. Why then, bring your last living relative there??
Of course Daniel proved their blood relationship by being similarly stupid. No, dreams of one's dead father telling you to get out are not enough reason to leave. BUT when you get scratched, tripped, when no one is there, don't you start wondering? His father never mentioned his family, never visited them and Daniel does not start to wonder why for the most part of the story. Let's just say I would have liked to kick some sense into the characters for a long time.
The story itself was quite interesting and never boring and it's written well enough. I just wish the characters behaved a little less like the one in bad horror movies, because that kept ripping me out of the story, since I was frustrated by their actions. If you like bad horror movies and want one with a gay romance on the side, then this is the perfect book for you.