Thursday, September 25, 2008

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White--Book Review

Brilliant and engrossing, The House on Tradd Street by Karen White brings the reader through Charleston's deep-rooted history and Confederate legends to uncover a story of passion, heartbreak, and murder.

Real estate agent Melanie Middleton visits with the elderly Nevin Vanderhorst just days before his unexpected death. Melanie isn't much into historic homes--even though she sells them for a living. She much prefers new construction, free of the ghosts that she's seen since childhood. When she inherits Vanderhorst's historic Tradd Street home she is less than thrilled, but their meeting and Nevin's letter about the mother he is sure would never have abandoned him encourage her to restore the house at 55 Tradd Street and try to unravel the mystery surrounding Louisa Vanderhorst's sudden disappearance.

In walks stunningly gorgeous Jack Trenholm, a true-crime writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He believes that the diamonds from the missing Confederate Treasury are stashed inside the house. Using Louisa's story Jack is able to convince Melanie to let him help with the restoration of the house in exchange for allowing him to perform research for his next book.

Neither of them quite knows what they are getting into. An evil ghost also resides in the house on Tradd Street and it doesn't want Melanie or Jack telling Louisa's story. How far will this spirit go to keep a secret?

This book captured me from the very first sentence. Steeped in Charleston's history and Civil War legends, The House on Tradd Street is a rare gem among paranormal mysteries. Exquisitely told, rich in descriptions, and filled with multi-faceted characters whose past lives are eloquently woven into each others, I was sad to read the last word of this moving novel.

White gets right to the heart of things by blending family secrets, love, legends, and the charm of the South, creating an emotional tale that will leave you begging for more. The cover art is strikingly handsome and truly completes one of the best novels I've read in my lifetime.

Lovers of southern fiction, paranormal mysteries, and moving stories that tug at the heartstrings will want to read The House on Tradd Street by Karen White.

Title: The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Publisher: New American Library
ISBN: 978-0-451-22509-2
U.S. Price: $14.00

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