Clarissa’s Warning is a new novel by Isobel Blackthorn published in 2018 by Creativia Publishing. I saw the gorgeous cover on a Facebook post and took a chance on reading someone new. Part mystery, part paranormal, this book focuses on the re-building of a beautiful but decaying island home off the coast of Africa and Spain. Claire, a middle-aged single woman who lost her mother very young has been raised by her distant father and her Aunt Clarissa, a somewhat gifted visionary. Claire fell in love with the house and developed a strong desire to restore it to greatness. After she won the lottery, Claire convinces the owner to sell her the property against his better wishes (and for close to double what it’s worth), then moves to the island against her aunt’s warning. It’s a simple warning really… someone is out to dupe her, so don’t trust anyone.
The book traces the ~6 month period from when Claire moves to the island until the semi-completion of the renovations. I won’t say why the book ends before the renovations are complete… Does she die? Does the house implode? Does she sell and run away? Or does she solve the mystery and find a compromise? So many things could happen… which makes the book have a light suspense factor overall. You know something bad is gonna happen, but when will Claire be most in danger? Claire gets to know the building team members who are afraid of spirits haunting the house. She befriends the local cafe owner who’s reticent to share the truth about past. And she meets a reporter / photojournalist who for the first time symbolizes potential love in her life. Is one of these people trying to harm her? Or is it something from the Great Beyond?
One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the way in which the author catalogs two things: (1) past owners of the home and (2) re-modeling and construction of the new home. Both are handled with careful detail and imagination. The building comes to life through Blackthorn’s beautiful descriptions. The previous owners are frightening and empathetic. Just who owned this place and what kind of horrific thing happened to create so many near-death experiences for future owners and inhabitants? Blackthorn keeps the pages turning with curiosity and a hope for a successful venture in Claire’s future.
I enjoy paranormal adventures and this was an easy yet immersive one to follow. While a few scenes scare you, others seem a bit normal in occurrence. When you add it all together, it’s easy to understand why Claire would be scared but also choose to stay… at least until the major one happens where she’s put in grave danger. I would not have gone back after that happened and I tend to be a stay-and-fight/protect kinda guy. When there’s a mean ghost after me, I’ll kick it’s rear end… at least until I end up in the hospital. Then I might take a breather. Not Claire — she wants her house back!
I’d recommend this for a wide variety audience. You need an interest or acceptance of paranormal activity, a curiosity about different cultures and the renovation process, and a love of a good story. Put all those things together and you’ve got a fantastic read that will show you something you probably haven’t experienced — I’m not sure many have met a ghost, to be honest, which makes this an even stronger concept to dive into. Kudos to the author for making it pop and draw me in. I bought the book a few weeks after it was published and will definitely read more from this author.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.