review: Kirkland Revels

Fresh from school in France, Catherine Corder receives an expected cold welcome from her father at their Yorkshire home. Desperate to get away from the dreary atmosphere, Catherine rides the moors, and comes upon a gypsy woman with a malnourished dog in tow. With the help of a wandering stranger, Gabriel Rockwell, she adopts “Friday”. Thus begins an acquaintance that will lead her to Kirkland Revels.

A sixteenth century manor built upon the ruins of an Abbey, Kirkland Revels is the grand, but mysterious ancestral home to the Rockwells. Catherine sensed straight away that Gabriel had an odd, frightened manner about the place, and she would soon find the reason for this.

Mysterious apparitions, disappearances, curious behavior, and even suspected murder are among the disturbing events surrounding the Revels and its haunting Abbey. When Catherine finds her life is in danger, she is determined to do everything in her power to unearth dark family secrets and discover the truth behind the strange happenings.

Victoria Holt’s signature attention to detail—in this case, Yorkshire descriptions, customs, and nuances—sets the tone for this lightly Gothic period drama. As usual she sucks the reader into a fully-fleshed world with excitement, danger, and minute character analysis. This immersive story is every bit as riveting as its predecessor, Mistress of Mellyn.