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The Secret Rooms,
This review is from: The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery (Hardcover)
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Catherine Bailey, following on from her success with "Black Diamonds:The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty," has created a fascinating and compelling story which she initially started as research into the archives at Belvoir Castle about how ordinary peoples lives who worked on the estate had been affected by World War I. The author painstakingly explored the thousands of letters in a suite of rooms which had been sealed after the death of the ninth Earl of Rutland.
That discovery set her on a different track altogether and posed a set of questions about why the ninth Duke had spent part of his life in these 'secret rooms' which were sparse in comparison to the opulence in the castles main areas.
The book reads rather like a detective novel and could easily have been the basis of a story from Wilkie Collins as the tale gives family intrigue, scheming, and 'skeletons in the cupboard.'
I enjoyed Catherine Bailey's writing style, which gave the narrative pace and her construction of secrets and parts of the jigsaw being revealed until the whole picture is complete was a successful one.
The story is many things wrapped into one, "author discovers hidden family secrets," and a highly readable tale of privilege, power, deceit and mystery. Recommended.