Castle Barebane

Joan Aiken

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19 April 2018
0 pages

Strong and independent Vahalla Montgomery, a heroine straight out of a Henry James novel, abandons her New York career as a journalist to search for her half-brother in Joan Aiken’s gothic novel, Castle Barebane.

Wishing to escape from her pretentious New York fiancé, Valla is happy to have an excuse to travel to England, only to discover that her half-brother and his wife have disappeared from their London home – leaving their young two children all alone.

Finding Victorian London a gloomy and sinister place, haunted by a series of Ripper style murders, Valla takes the children up to Scotland to a bleak family property known as Castle Barebane. In this Gothic ruin, perched on the edge of a cliff, the mystery surrounding her missing brother only gets darker, and more terrifying . . .

This unforgettable tale of love, loss, and human nature is brought to life by Joan Aiken’s vivid story-telling and gripping plot. If you love Virginia Andrews or Nicola Cornick, Joan Aiken should certainly be your next read.

A tightly-knit, exciting novel . . . an unusually well-told tale

Publisher’s Weekly

Joan Aiken writes superbly, with a force, a colour and strength of imagination that one encounters all too rarely today. I loved every moment of it

London Daily Telegraph

Joan Aiken's Castle Barebane promises every kind of Gothic pleasure from grimy decadent London to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . the plot twists agilely enough to lead most readers up the garden path several times