Book Review: The Mortician’s Wife by Maralee Lowder

16237607Title: The Mortician’s Wife

Author: Maralee Lowder

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Horace Carpenter has it all…a lucrative business as the only mortician in town, a home he can be proud of and a reputation of being one of the most popular men in town.  Maybe he should be content with what he has.  But he wants more.Ada Hawkins, the daughter of the town’s only physician has lived a sheltered yet, privileged life.  When she meets Horace at her 18th birthday party, the shy, physically plain girl is entranced by his good looks and suave manners.  In six months they are married, and in less than one week Ada suspects she has made the mistake of her life.

And that is where the story might have ended…should have ended.  Ada is to endure years of torment until her husband commits the most unforgivable act possible.  From that day forward she lives for one thing only, not just to end the torment, but to do it in the hateful way possible.

She achieves her goal, only to discover true evil does not die.

The Mortician’s Wife is a haunting tale about abuse, evil and love, and how hatred can destroy even the most caring of people. The setting is a real, existing house in Dunsmuir, North California, that is reportedly haunted. The narrator, Emily, has grown up not too far away from the house, and has always been intrigued by the strange woman living within its walls. When a Halloween prank goes wrong, and she notices the old woman standing behind a window, she grows more and more obsessed with the house and its inhabitant. When she hears music coming from inside, she takes that as a sign.

Turns out the old woman, Ada, has been as intrigued by Emily as is the case the other way around. For years, the two of them hang out together, playing the piano. But then Emily’s parents divorce, and she moves away. When she returns, years later, she’s relieved to find out Ada is still alive. She signs up to help the old woman, and Ada accepts. The friendship between the two of them is stronger than ever, and Ada decides to share her life story with the younger girl. A story filled with hatred, abuse and betrayal, and something dark that still lurks in the corner of her home.

I first thought this was going to be genuine horror, but it isn’t. It’s more like a gothic story, with evil creeping up on you when you least expect it. The cruelty of mankind is the most prominent evil-factor here. Ada’s story is deeply unsettling, but it’s also fascinating, and I had to keep reading, I couldn’t stop until I figured out what happened.

The relationship between Ada and Emily was rather amazing. It touched me deeply, and reminded me of my nextdoor neighbor. She was an old lady when I was a kid, and we got along great. She had all these amazing stories. I still miss her sometimes, and Ada reminded me of her, except that Ada’s life story is a lot sadder.

The book is the first in a series. The second book will be about the evil living in the funeral home, and it promises to be a lot scarier. In that way, this book kind of reads like a prequel. Either way, I didn’t mind, because it was an enjoyable, if not sometimes depressing, read. The writing was great, the pacing was okay, and I really liked the characters.


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