An atmospheric debut novel about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family's Scottish estate, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants. Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death. Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing. What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community-and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.
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by Sarah Strohmeyer
by Sarah Maine
by Sarah Dessen
by Sarah Miller
by Sarah Dunn
by Sarah Thyre
by Sarah Waters
"Narrator Justine Eyre imbues Maine's debut novel with just the right sense of gothic mystery. In 1910, newlyweds Beatrice and Theo Blake move to Theo's estate, Muirlan House, on Muirlan Island in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. In 2010, Theo's distant relative, Hetty Deveraux, becomes the estate's new owner. After Hetty takes possession, long-buried human skeletal remains are found, apparently indicative of foul play. Eyre delivers the alternating time periods and characters, keeping the voices unique and the period diction spot-on. The mystery of the skeleton connects to the conflict that arises when Hetty wants to turn the house into a luxury hotel despite the objections of a local man who wants to preserve the land as a nature sanctuary. It's all somewhat predictable, but in the nicest way, Eyre makes this entertaining listening. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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