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Holy terror
Boyle, Josephine.
Adult Fiction BOYLE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

What could go wrong when British newlyweds John and Emily Wakelin move into their dream cottage in Essex? Plenty, according to Boyle's (Maiden's End) nicely understated novel of suspense. Emily soon discovers why the house's previous occupants fled so abruptly: they encountered things that go bump in the night-as, before long, does Emily. Her commission to embroider an altarpiece representing a local 16th-century Protestant martyr temporarily diverts her, but when husband John departs on business related to the Persian Gulf War, the tormented ghost's entreaties for help increase in frequency and severity. By the time the spirit's identity is disclosed, readers will have shared Emily's terror and the ghost's desolation. Boyle deftly embroiders her own tapestry here-of rural English life, church politics, hidden agendas, colorfully realized characters and the icy grasp of those who do not rest in peace. However, her attempt to intertwine escalating Gulf War events with readers' fears for John and the world misses the mark: we know that Armageddon didn't occur. Despite this cavil, Boyle's spooky tale shivers with frissons. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A lost soul haunts a lovely young woman in this modern English Gothic novel. Newlywed Emily Wakelin, a professional embroideress, has just settled into a cottage next to an imposing 16th-century house in Essex when the happiness she has always taken for granted is shattered. Visiting neighboring Holly House, Emily feels a cold hand grasp hers but sees nothing. Then she learns why the previous owners of Holly House left so precipitously. She feels the same cold presence while working at home on an embroidered hanging of a local 16th-century martyr who was charged with blasphemy in a hearing at Holly House. The theme-of evil done in the name of religion-is leavened with petty parish politics, but a parallel that the author tries to make with the Gulf War is strained. Still, Emily is appealingly plucky, and Boyle (Maiden's End, LJ 11/1/89) has a sure touch with this genre. Buy accordingly.-Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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