F. E. Feeley, Jr. is a new author for me, but I’ll be reading more. “The Haunting of Timber Manor” is a sort of classic gothic novel ghost story of a type that makes me think of Hollywood B-films from the 1950s – but at its heart is a sweet, moving gay love story that won me over completely.
Author: FE Feeley, Jr
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Memoirs of the Human Wraiths
While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.
Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.
Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.
Daniel’s disorientation is central to the narrative, from the moment the book opens with his driving blind in a torrential downpour as he approaches Timber Manor for the first time. It is a classic “Dark Shadows” set up. The typical weather patterns of an Oregon summer create the setting for the sprawling mansion of the Donnelly family. Daniel is a young man yanked off the steady path he’s made for himself by tragic circumstances. Having not had time to grieve properly, he doesn’t fully understand why he’s been invited to visit his father’s only surviving relative. He’s confused, lost, and desperately in need of some stability in his young life. And, out of the rain and darkness steps the proverbial knight in shining armor – Hale, local sheriff, well-liked but lonely. Yes, it is almost corny, but I have to say that the development of the relationship between these two guys, as the increasingly horrific back-story of Timber Manor unfolds around them, is one of the nicest things I’ve read recently.
Yes, this is a pretty predictable story arc, but what a fun story it is. Rather late in the game we meet Francine, the carnival fortune-teller who not only is more than she seems, but instantly sees Daniel and Hale as two guys who need what she has to offer. Francine’s back story comes into the book rather late, but is told so well that I regretted the fact that she doesn’t appear more in the book than her pivotal role allows.
And, finally, I have to say, that I love a man who write men who cry. A man who can cry is the sexiest thing on earth for me, and somehow Feeley (who, by his own description is a big tough tattooed man) writes these guys really well…
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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