Review: The Animals Of Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

The Animals at Lockwood Manor
Some secrets are unspoken. Others are unspeakable . . .

August 1939.

Thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright is tasked with the evacuation and safekeeping of the natural history museum’s collection of mammals. Once she and her exhibits arrive at Lockwood Manor, however, where they are to stay for the duration of the war, Hetty soon realizes that she’s taken on more than she’d bargained for.

Protecting her charges from the irascible Lord Lockwood and resentful servants is work enough, but when some of the animals go missing, and worse, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the house.

As the disasters mount, Hetty finds herself falling under the spell of Lucy, Lord Lockwood’s beautiful but clearly haunted daughter. But why is Lucy so traumatized? Does she know something she’s not telling? And is there any truth to local rumours of ghosts and curses?

Part love story, part mystery, The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey is a gripping and atmospheric tale of family madness, long-buried secrets and hidden desires.” -GoodReads

I loved the beginning of this book, the gothic atmosphere was just the thing to grab my attention and draw me into the world of Lockwood Manor. It’s an intriguing story with moments of exquisite eerieness. There’s a mystery that keeps me reading, the stuffed animals housed at Lockwood Manor start to go missing and I wonder is it something ghostly involved.

But sadly the mystery and the intrigue isn’t enough. The book never delivers on it’s promise. It starts to meander with glimpses into the past and more emphasis on the stuffed animals than I care to read about. The eerie moments dwindle and although conflict continues to keep the story moving I found the book got dull. It’s one of those books that offers a supernatural element but sadly never delivers it’s promise. And as a fan of the gothic, the supernatural, that is a disappointment.

This was technically my first audiobook so I’m not sure if my enjoyment of the book could’ve been affected by that. I didn’t like the way some of the male voices are acted, I wondered if maybe two narrators, male and female, would’ve been better. But maybe I’m not the best judge.

After listening to this book I wondered: why didn’t they just leave the stuffed animals in storage? If you’ve read this books share your thoughts.

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