An Invitation to Darkness by Hailey Piper
Reviewed by S.J. Budd
In ‘Invitation To Darkness’ sea captain Jamie Thames meets wealthy heiress Elizabeth Leavenworth and the two women quickly fall in love. Of course, it’s never that simple in a Gothic story. Leavenworth Manor is haunted, but ghosts are the least of the lovers’ troubles.
This is one of the best gothic tales I’ve ever read! Dark atmosphere and brooding chilling suspense this is a tale that reels you in from the first sentence.
Captain Jamie Thames returns from a long and successful career upon the seven seas but after having made her fortune she wants to settle down. Arriving in Lucre Shores a small town that is quiet and still by the sea she finds an old abandoned home, Leavenworth Manor, ravaged by the sea and decides she must have it.
The house is in fact owned by Lord Leavenworth a man in considerable decline and his young daughter, Elizabeth, who hides a terrible secret…
There’s a lot packed into this really gripping tale. I was sad it ended so quickly and immediately read it again after finishing. Despite its length the atmosphere is really quickly established as a forlorn seaside town lingering on the edge of civilisation. A town where dark forces are at play.
I loved Captain Jamie, she was really kick ass, funny and really clever. I liked her a lot and would love to see more of her via a follow up of this tale or a prequel of her adventures at sea. Elizabeth is really intriguing as a young woman left alone to care for her sick father. Why hasn’t she left along with all the servants that long ago abandoned their posts?
Invitation to Darkness is a really quirky tale, form the very start the plot moves really rapidly in ways you won’t expect. Its a really thrilling ride whilst also being really creepy and dark. The threat of evil in this tale feels very real and really adds to the tension of this tale. I really loved it form beginning to end. This is a short tale so its hard to go into too much detail without giving the plot away and spoiling it for those yet to read but I really loved it and can’t wait to read more by Hailey Piper!
An Invitation to Darkness is out now via Demain Publishing.
About S.J. Budd
S.J.Budd is a dark fiction author and HWA member from Cornwall. Her work has appeared in The No Sleep Podcast, Aphotic Realm, Sanitarium Magazine, Siren’s Call Publications, Deadman’s Tome, Innersins, Aphelion, Bewildering Stories, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, Shadows at the Door and Danse Macabre Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Morpheus Tales and Freedom Fiction.
She spends far too much time on twitter @sjbuddj. You can find out more about her stories at www.sjbudd.co.uk