I haven't picked up a thriller/horror novel this good in ages. The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb was a quick and enjoyable read that I would equate to a really good Gothic horror movie, e.g. The Woman in Black. It even has the same, creepy, the-horror-isn't-really-dead ending...
This isn't groundbreaking work or a literary masterpiece, this is good scary entertainment. This is the kind of book that gets your pulse racing as you frantically flip to the next chapter to find our what happens. This is definitely the kind of book I don't recommend reading when you're all alone in an empty house late at night.
The action is set in a town on Lake Superior at the ancestral home of Grace Alban. Grace and her teenage daughter, Amity, have returned for her mother's funeral. This marks the first time Grace has been back home in twenty years (she's been spending the interim on Whidbey Island!!!*) and the book begins by covering her struggles at dealing with her families tragic history and her mother's sudden death. As she grieves, she begins to uncover inconsistencies in her family history and is on the path to uncovering them as she bonds with the new reverend in town. But when an unexpected guest shows up at the funeral reception, the story heads straight into creepy territory.
I would have liked a bit more time spent addressing the back story I mean, another hundred pages wouldn't have hurt anyone right? But if you are looking for something to get your adrenaline pumping or even something with a touch of mystery and dark magic, I think this book is definitely for you.
*If you find this as amazingly awesome as I do, then we may be soul mates.