|Maureen M. McMahon: Return of the Gulls|
Press, ISBN 1-931419-12-4 (print), 1-931419-13-2 (ebook)
In Ireland to write articles for a magazine, Stacey Christian meets Peter Mansfield, an old love who can still kindle sparks. He invites her to go with him to visit his aunt -- the one who lives in haunted Faoilenn Marrach, or Gull's Castle. Intrigued by the idea, and knowing she'd find a story on the haunted island, Stacey agrees.
Is the castle actually haunted? The locals all think so; Stacey doesn't believe it for a moment. Determined to prove her point, Stacey stays at the castle when Peter leaves for Dublin, where he hopes untangle his aunt's snarled finances. That's when things start happening, really unusual things -- and Stacey can't stay out of it.
I love gothics, especially if they stand above the crowd in the genre. Return of the Gulls certainly does that. Well fleshed, interesting characters, all with quirks and warts, a truly evil antagonist, a legend that comes to life, coupled with a plot that meanders, twists, curls back on itself and refuses to allow the reader a chance to escape.
Mary Stewart mentored McMahon, at least in spirit, and this book shows how apt a pupil the younger author proved herself to be.
Patricia Lucas White
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