by Kathleen McKenna
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
Leeann wasn’t good enough for her upper-crust in-laws, so they gave her the mansion none of them wanted. Years ago, something or someone in the house killed Leeann’s brother. Will its violent secrets kill her next?“ . . . a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery—why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that 'Justice . . . just is not,' then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury.”—Tim Roux, author of Missio and The Dance of the Pheasodile..
When I first saw the cover and read the synopsis for The Wedding Gift, I was immediately intrigued. I love a suspenseful tale with haunted houses and ghosts. The beginning started off rocky for me but by the end, I was glad I had read this shocking, humorous mystery.
The tale is told in first person by protagonist Leeann Worthier. Leann is seventeen and the current Corn Princess. I struggled with my feeling regarding Leeann. I couldn’t decide if she was a money grubbing snob or as her best friend Jenny said, “dumber than a box of hair”. The story began with her telling us about meeting George, the courtship, and the wedding. She tells it to us as if she is writing a journal and she holds nothing back. I immediately disliked her. I tweeted, Google+ and posted updates to Facebook about it. Never had I felt such annoyance and disdain for the main character. I will never approve of some of her actions but a funny thing happened; I fell in love with this dimwitted, warmhearted, dope of a girl.
The Wedding Gift took place in Dalton, Oklahoma and featured an array of colorful characters. All of the characters have questionable morals and their antics shocked me, made me laugh and at times cringe. The plot regarding the old estate was suspenseful and the paranormal events creepy. I was drawn into discovering more about the ghost and what drove a woman to kill her children. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming, in part because of the crazy things the characters were doing. By the time I finished this fast-paced, easy read I was both shocked and delighted.
I recommend The Wedding Gift, to fans of paranormal mysteries, ghost stories and haunted houses delivered with humor. McKenna certainly has a gift for writing. As I reflect back on the tale, I am amazed at the wide range of emotions she was able to draw from me. This makes for a great story and I look forward to reading more of her work. This novel is available both in paperback and eBook.
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