Reading a new book by Catherine Cavendish is always exciting because, to me, it's like getting into a cosy jumper that I love and feel comfortable in. That's what Ms. Cavendish's writing is like. I know exactly how easy she'll be to read, how descriptive, how brilliant the setting. And I know I'll be scared out of my wits (forget the jumper now).
Ms Cavendish is a bit of an aficionado of haunted houses (I think she even lives in one) so she's writing about what she knows in The Devil's Serenade.
Maddie Chambers has inherited a gothic mansion that she spent much of her childhood in with a spinster aunt. Curious happenings went on then but they pale in comparison to now: there are a series of ghostly children skipping about, supernatural beings haunt the attic and scare workmen witless, and a shadowy figure in a cloak lurks in dark places. But what really sent chills down my spine were the all-too alive roots of a tree that wriggled, throbbed and scratched if anyone picked one up and which were growing at a rate in the basement...and there's no tree on the outside where they could have come from.
Tension is built up in a delicious way, a cast of believable characters make their appearance (for example Shona and her amateur dramatics friends and Charlie the plumber) leaving the reader wondering if he or she has anything to do with the evil that lurks in Hargest House. Nothing concrete is revealed until the twist at the very satisfying end. This is definitely a book to read while the lights are on.
Find Catherine Cavendish here: http://www.catherinecavendish.com/
Buy: Amazon UK