Continue below to read my review of the book and be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the 'In Darkness, Shadows Breathe' blog tour brought to you by RANDOM THINGS TOURS, FLAME TREE PRESS, and CATHERINE CAVENDISH!
'In Darkness, Shadows Breathe' by Catherine Cavendish is a Gothic tinted timeline shifting novel that begins by following a woman named Carol, who's mostly alone in life.
While living in an upscale apartment for six-months at a deal of a price for basically looking after it for the owners, strange occurrences start to develop around her. Threatening messages appear on the walls, designer kitchenware belonging to the regular occupants is found in pieces, and an eerie image repeatedly manifests at the door and windows. Accused by neighbors of having a rowdy party, Carol sets out to get some answers.. and in the process makes a new friend that sympathizes with her plight and tries to help her.
Vanessa, the other main character, is going through some trying experiences of her own. With her health in jeopardy, she undergoes a dramatic procedure that keeps her in the hospital for some time.. where she too finds herself tormented by some seemingly otherworldly encounters.
The questions posed are largely in regards to how the two women are connected and why.
Structurally speaking, the story is non-linear.. but framed easily enough for anyone to follow. There's quite a collection of common Gothic horror tropes throughout the book, directing the reader along at their own pace and there are no huge surprises here. Everything is very much as it seems.
There are some interesting elements employed, certainly.. Vanessa's medical condition is extreme and some may find the descriptive nature of what she's suffering to be a bit too much for them.. but it was also probably the most unusual aspect of the story. For the most part, in the time-slipping scenes.. there's reference to what's going on.. without too many graphic details.
I will say the novel is a bit clumsily written and suffers from an overburdening of convenience. Every time the author introduces some piece of evidence or some new experience, along comes a character to explain exactly what it is, what it means, if and when it's happened before, and so on.. in graceless information downloads.
Overall, the concept is clever enough. The base catalyst driving the incidents.. is actually pretty unique in its way of recurring across dimensions. Other than that, I'd say anyone looking for a quick read with a bit of a creep factor could probably happily pick this up and breeze through it in a couple of hours.
Cat first started writing when someone thrust a pencil into her hand. Unfortunately as she could neither read nor write properly at the time, none of her stories actually made much sense. However as she grew up, they gradually began to take form and, at the tender age of nine or ten, she sold her dolls’ house, and various other toys to buy her first typewriter– an Empire Smith Corona. She hasn’t stopped bashing away at the keys ever since, although her keyboard of choice now belongs to her laptop.
The need to earn a living led to a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance but Cat is now the full-time author of a number of supernatural, ghostly, haunted house and Gothic horror novels and novellas, including The Garden of Bewitchment, The Haunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy–Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients, Damned by the Ancients - The Devil’s Serenade, Dark Avenging Angel, The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine and Linden Manor. Her short story, 'Miss Emmeline’s Mirror', recently appeared in the anthology Haunted Are These Houses.
She lives north of Liverpool with her longsuffering husband and black cat (who remembers that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt and sees no reason why that practice should notcontinue).
When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys rambling around stately homes, circles of standing stones and travelling to favourite haunts such as Vienna and Orkney.