Monday, July 11, 2016

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

First Line: My beloved aunt, Sara Harrison Shea, was brutally murdered in the winter of 1908.

The death of Sara Harrison Shea-- months after the death of her young daughter-- is just one in a long line of strange deaths and disappearances in the area around West Hall, Vermont.

One hundred years later, nineteen-year-old Ruthie is living with her mother and little sister in Sara's house. When Ruthie's mother vanishes into thin air, the young woman searches desperately for some sort of clue... and stumbles over a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary.

Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery of what happened to Sara, and she soon realizes that her mother may not be the first person to disappear from the area around the Devil's Hand, but Ruthie may be the only person to stop history from repeating itself.

This is a nicely creepy little ghost story with a small and sterling cast. Although the shifts in point of view are sometimes awkward, the story of Sara, her husband Martin and their daughter Gertie builds the sense of dread and foreboding and nicely compliments the present-day story of Ruthie, her mother Alice and her sister Fawn.  

Not much can be said of the story without giving away key points, but let me say this. It is reminiscent of some of Stephen King's writing, and the setting is perfect for a ghost tale: atmospheric, claustrophobic, and chilling. The Winter People strayed into the paranormal just a bit too much for me, but I still found it to be a compelling-- and nerve-tingling-- story.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
ISBN: 9780385681476
Anchor Canada © 2015
Paperback, 400 pages

Paranormal Thriller, Standalone
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Book Outlet 



  1. Oh, this does sound like it has a deliciously creepy element about it, Cathy! And I like the past/present connection. Sounds like an eerie setting, too! Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. And cold! Good to read out in the pool during an Arizona summer. :-)


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