“For years the abandoned MacKenzie mansion remained hidden in rural Wisconsin. Rumors and stories of apparitions, odd noises, accidents, and strange deaths in or near the property were enough to convince the townsfolk it was haunted and they stayed away.
Lucas MacKenzie and his brother Nate know nothing of this when they inherit the property and decide to bring their families to Wisconsin for a major renovation project with HGTV stardom in mind. As they tear out old fixtures and open shuttered windows, the house begins to reveal secrets of a terrible past and it soon becomes clear the MacKenzies are in grave danger. In the end, only one person can save them.” Amazon
I love when fate intervenes. I was on NetGalley to see what books I needed to post reviews for, and I decided I wanted to read a horror book soon. So I clicked on that section, and saw the cover for Shepherd’s Warning because it caught my eye. When I read that it takes place in rural Wisconsin, and it was a debut novel, I knew that would be my next read.
And I must say, an excellent book for a new author.
Cailyn Lloyd does a fabulous job with the building of suspense. While I was never freaked out (watching horror movies since the age of eight, might have jaded me a bit…) she kept perfectly ratcheting up the anxiety that her characters were experiencing. What started as a new beginning after a tragedy, quickly led to feelings of uneasy, then to the characters feeling jittery, with the final outcome of complete terror.
Lloyd also did very well with incorporating the supernatural aspect. Wisconsin is well known for its many haunted houses, hospitals, and buildings, so the MacKenzie mansion fit in perfectly with it’s rural surroundings. Lloyd has the perfect balance of very detailed descriptions of the mansion, surrounding woods, and town. But she doesn’t go on and on with it, to the point where I wanted to skim, so that is always a plus for me.
I think the reason why I enjoy horror so much is because there is almost always a mystery involved in the story. Why is the killer or supernatural entity doing what they are doing? Lloyd wrote a very interesting mystery, incorporating historical data and folklore. I enjoyed the journey she took me on.
The very small thing that I have to mention is how I was a bit confused, at first, in regards to the characters. Lloyd gave us half a dozen names, and it was immediately on with the story. Although she does develop the characters going forward, it took me a couple of chapters to straighten out their relationships to each other. But it could have been that I was a bit sleepy since I started reading right before bed.
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