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THE STRANGER HOUSE
REGINALD HILL
ISBN# 0-06-082142-6
September 2006
Avon Book
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
Paperback
$7.99
480 Pages
Fiction (Mystery)
Rating: 5 Cups

Samantha Flood is an Australian math whiz who learns some interesting facts about her grandmother. Being an orphan that had been shipped from England to Australia under dubious circumstances, she sets out to discover answers. Her curiosity gets the better of her when she arrives in the tiny village of Illthwaite. There is something strange that lies here concerning her family and she intends to find out answers.

Miguel Madero, known to many as ‘Mig’, is a Spaniard that often has occurrences with ghostly visions. He is interested in the English Catholics during the Reformation. Due to sensations in his feet and hands that cause considerable pain, he leaves the priesthood and begins his search to find out more on the subject involving the Reformation. The now historical scholar knows nothing about Samantha, except for the same intriguing curiosity when it comes to the village and his family. He enlists her help as they begin a search to uncover secrets in a winding maze neither expected.

Whoever said that appearances can be deceiving need only ask Samantha and Miguel when they embark on a quest to reveal burning questions about the town of Illthwaite, in Cumbria, England, and a mystery surrounding their families. In a town where inquisitive visitors are not welcome, the two strangers refuse to leave until their quest is completed. Mig needs answers to an ancestor that links back to the 1500’s that was possibly killed after a shipwreck, while Sam needs answers about her real grandmother. After Mig and Sam get acquainted in the village, they learn about the inn known as the Stranger House that has been hosted by many exhausted travelers for more than five hundred years. The two feel an attraction and share their desires as they search for answers. But, as in any small town, there are always certain ones that would wish things to stay buried. Sam and Mig are determined to see exactly what the village hides. Bombarded along the way with deception, violence, and a bit of love, they chart a path to discover their own identities in a village, and a wayward Inn, that wishes to remain banded together to keep anything concerning the past hidden.

The Stranger House details so much intrigue, the reader is caught in some suspenseful instances that enthralls all the way to the last page. Samantha is not only smart, but determined to get to the bottom of the truth. When she and Mig begin to work together, the reader is caught up in their emotions and drama of events. From a mirage of complex secondary characters, a well-crafted plot, intellectual dialogue, and detailed scenery that takes your breath away, this engaging novel lends much creativity. Mr. Hill pulls no stops in this action packed read. With challenging plot twists and a surmounting addition of mystery and suspense, this is one explosive novel that this reader found utterly sensational and an exceptional 5-cup read.

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books