Posts Tagged ‘Marrilyn Messick’


Published: 28 August 2017



A red gash of a mouth rimmed with impossibly tiny, razor-sharp teeth yawned wide, then swift as a snake, she bent and struck . . . “
For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill. But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, it proves a chorus girl too far, and Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.
From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without, and learns a few home truths she’d prefer not to know. Ophelia it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, her newly discovered nearest and dearest, their peculiar tendencies and their failing hotel business, the very much happier she’s going to be.
Dire straits call for desperate measures and Sandra reluctantly rises to the occasion. A hanged housemaid, a fly-on-the-wall documentary, The Psychic Society and a quasi co-operative journalist all handled correctly should, she reckons, get the family business up and running, which will allow her to do the same – as fast as she can, and in the opposite direction. Things unfortunately move swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One moment Sandra’s struggling to save the family’s income, the next, she’s battling to save their lives.
Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

My Thoughts & Review:

The reader meets Sandra just as her life begins to unravel slightly, her mother Ophelia appears and as dramatic as ever announces that she and Sandra’s father have argued and that she’s left him for good.  The fight between the two became physical and she hit him over the head before leaving, not caring if he were dead or alive.  Ophelia declares she has had enough of Adam’s roving eye and womanising ways, and this time it’s the end.
And just as the reader grasps what’s happening, Sandra begins to recount her childhood, how it was to grow up the daughter of the great illusionists Adam and Ophelia.  The relationship between daughter and parents never appears as that of the stereotypical one, Sandra was often left behind or forgotten about and the much needed parental figure coming in the form of the couples’ manager.  The way in which Sandra describes the relationship of her parents gives readers an insight into this stormy pairing.  Both seeming to spark something in the other that gives rise to an argument or heated exchange, but ultimately this chemistry is the thing that keeps their stage act alive and popular.

Back in the present, Ophelia is in full diva mode, demanding that Sandra take time off work and drive her to Stratford, she however fails to inform her daughter of the significance of the address to which they are heading.  Upon arrival at the hotel, Sandra is astounded to realise that she has family that Ophelia omitted to tell her about, having believed her mother’s tales whilst growing up that she had no family.
The family hotel is failing and Sandra decides to help out whilst she is there, and Ophelia true to her nature, disappears at the mention of helping out by doing some work.

What then follows is a tale of madness, chaos and ghostly goings on with quite possibly the strangest collection of characters.

I found this was a quick read, once I’d started I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened and where Sandra would end up in the grand scheme of things.

The characters in this have been created well, their descriptions are well rounded and show off their quirks as well as making them quite interesting to read about.

I will admit that it’s a little outside my usual crime thriller reads to it did take a little time to switch off my logical thinking brain and just let the story flow.

You can buy a copy of Witch Dust via Amazon

My thanks to Noelle and Kate at Thick as Thieves Book Publicity and Promo for the opportunity to read and review this book, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Follow the blog tour:

Witch Dust Blog Tour Poster


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