🎉🎉🎉 Happy Publication Day to V.L. Valentine 🎉🎉🎉 Gothic thriller Begars Abbey is out today!
My thanks to the lovely people at Viper Books for my advanced copy of Begars Abbey.
A dark house filled with darker secrets…
Winter 1954, and in a dilapidated apartment in Brooklyn, Sam Cooper realises that she has nothing left. Her mother is dead, she has no prospects, and she cannot afford the rent. But as she goes through her mother’s things, Sam finds a stack of hidden letters that reveal a family and an inheritance that she never knew she had, three thousand miles away in Yorkshire.
Begars Abbey is a crumbling pile, inhabited only by Lady Cooper, Sam’s ailing grandmother, and a handful of servants. Sam cannot understand why her mother kept its very existence a secret, but her newly discovered diaries offer a glimpse of a young girl growing increasingly terrified. As is Sam herself.
Built on the foundations of an old convent, Begars moves and sings with the biting wind. Her grandmother cannot speak, and a shadowy woman moves along the corridors at night. There are dark places in the hidden tunnels beneath Begars. And they will not give up their secrets easily…
A chilling read that will keep you turning the pages late into the night, Begars Abbey is a must-read for fans of Laura Purcell and W.C. Ryan.
What Did I Think?
Sam is broke and alone in New York. She’s lost her mother and she’s now questioning if she actually knew her mother as she finds documents relating to life in Yorkshire. After a bit of digging, she takes the leap and jumps on a boat (yes a boat – a big one) to traverse the Atlantic Ocean.
I felt unsettled the more I got into the book. After the drive to Begars Abbey, I began to question everyone Sam met – were they real? But then as Sam explored her surroundings, the temperature dropped! I got goosebumps as Sam discovered the crypt … chilling stuff
“Ghosts are a dime a dozen in Yorkshire”
Gothic thrillers aren’t normally my choice read but the more I read of Begars Abbey the more I enjoyed the story. The wintery backdrop of 50s York gave a dark claustrophobic feel to this tale. I felt enclosed in the abbey with Sam, unable to escape the strange goings-on within the Cooper residence. I wanted to find out what was real or whether Sam had lost her marbles over the course of her four days in this strange setting.
Who Is V. L. Valentine?
V.L. Valentine is a senior science editor at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., where she has led award-winning coverage of global disease outbreaks including Ebola and the Zika virus. She has a master’s in the history of medicine from University College London and her non-fiction work has been published by NPR, The New York Times, The Smithsonian Channel and Science Magazine. The Plague Letters is her first novel.