Thursday, January 13, 2011

Monica Heath: Return to Clerycastle

Return to Clerycastle is the other Gothic in the Heath Signet Double Gothic I read.

This novel was published first in 1970 and is set on the Oregon coast. I am really digging that setting lately and had not seen it used in any other novels I can think of until recently.

Courtney, a young actress, has been hired as a pretend bride for Kirby McClery. She accompanies him back to the Oregon replica of the Ireland ancestral home of Clerycastle. Once there, she discovers a dangerous red haired wraith and chilling secrets. Could Kirby be a killer? What are the secrets of Clerycastle?

Plot: 4/5 [I really enjoyed the pace of this novel, and it had some interesting plot turns.]

Characterization: 4/5 [Kirby McClery is delicious, and I felt like Courtney was a well rounded heroine.]

Atmosphere/spooky elements: 3/5 [I really liked the beach scenes. Heath is an outdoor writer. I mean she is best with describing the outdoors in any given novel. That is why this one shines. Clerycasle is weaker due to such an interior setting. I think Heath has trouble pulling those off from the three novels I have read by her now. She is a genius, though, on a beach, in a graveyard, or in the family crypt. ;)]

Literary elements: 3/5 [Not really. There is a little Shakespeare, but this one is pretty light.]

Romance: 4/5 [I like the hero of this novel and the crackling relationship he has with Courtney.]

Rating: 3.5+ stars

** I recommend this one. If you can only get your hands on one of the Clerycastle series, I think this one is your best bet. I am a big fan of Monica Heath's work.


susied said...

Your review makes me want to read this book! However, looking at my gothic list I see I only have 4 by Monica Heath - Duncraig, Dunleary, Falconlough and The Legend of Blackhurst. I hope any of the above are as good.

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