Plagued by vivid, violent hallucinations, a recovering drug addict desperately seeks the truth. Are her waking nightmares a product of her self-medicating, or dire supernatural warnings?
Tamsyn Hallert, an artist, exists in a vicious circle of addiction and recovery, fueled by her husband Sean’s long-time secret affair. The affair ended in his lover's bizarre suicide, but not before she left a surprise on Tam and Sean’s doorstep—Kevin, the son Sean never knew he had.
Sean moves them to the country, to his familial home near the crumbling Wraithborne Estate, the massive old house with a terrible mythos. The twisted attempt to save their marriage only makes matters worse as Sean’s obsession with his dead lover deepens, and Tam’s grip on reality grows more tenuous. A horrific plot to summon the dark spirits that possess the Estate comes to light, with Tam, Sean, and Kevin in the center of it all. Will Tam be able to save her family, or will the lure of the spirits’ promises be too strong to resist?
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The story begins with 4 teenage friends sneaking into the local haunted house Wraithborne Estate. What was supposed to be a fun evening ends takes a turn for the worse when they find the guard has been murdered and gets even scarier when they are attacked by some kind of strange monster.
Fastforward 18 years and the story continues with Tamsyn, a recovering drug addict who is struggling to deal with life since finding out her husband Sean was having an affair for the majority of their marriage with his high school sweetheart. Even worse, when his mistress dies Tamsyn is expected to take in the other woman's son Kevin who she didn't even know existed.
Sean convinces her to move back to his parents home - the caretakers cottage at Wraithborne Estate. Struggling with her drug addiction and suffering withdrawal symptoms Tamsyn is unsure if the strange things that are happening to her are purely hallucinations or if something more sinister is going on.
Winterborn is a truely terrifying read that I had to stick to reading during the day for the sake of a good night's sleep! I couldn't help but feel sorry for Tamsyn who is struggling to deal with Sean's betrayal and having his son Kevin move in with them. Everything she is going through has pushed her right to the edge and sent her spiralling into a drug addiction that is only making things worse. Plagued with horrible visions Tamsyn is unable to tell if it's all in her mind and is quickly losing her hold on sanity.
Sean was a character I struggled to feel any sympathy for - he's made Tamsyn's life hell and when he isn't apologising to her and promising to change he is back to obsessing over his dead ex-girlfriend. He comes across as a very weak man and at times I was screaming at Tamsyn to just leave him and get the hell out of there. Kevin is a very disturbed little boy, deeply affected by his upbringing in the care of his psychotic mother who he misses dreadfully now that she is gone. His mother had promised that she would come back to him and they would be a family with Sean and Kevin would do anything it takes to make that happen. He is resentful of Tamsyn's place in the family and wants her out of their lives.
The supernatural side of this story was scary to the extreme and it was impossible to know what would happen next. I had strong feelings about how I wanted things to end but was completely surprised by how things turned out - it was even better than I'd hoped for. This isn't the kind of book I read very often but I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to fans of supernatural thrillers or horror.
Source: Thanks to A.D Roland for sending me a review copy of this eBook
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