ARROWOOD by Laura McHugh
Arrowood is a gothic thriller that starts slowly with mounting eeriness as the main character, Arden Arrowood, is slowly revealed along with the tragedies in her life. Her twin sisters disappeared while she, only 8 years old, was supposed to be watching them. Arden has scars, both physical and mental, from this and other traumas in her past life.
Arrowood, the house, has been in her family for generations, but has stood empty since shortly after the twins disappeared. Arden returns to Arrowood twenty years later when her grandfather bequeaths her the long empty house. The tension mounts as her back story is revealed and various characters from her past, along with an amateur detective who is fascinated by the unsolved mystery of the twin’s disappearance, are introduced.
McHugh is a gifted writer who maintains a firm grip on a story that could easily become maudlin. Instead the eeriness and growing unease builds to a crescendo. The characters are slowly developed into rich, fully portrayed persons embodied in a horrifying story.
5 of 5 stars