First things first, I’m not your mommy so if you are triggered by certain topics, check the author’s website for warnings. That said, let’s get into it. I’d seen Haunting Adeline brandished across various social media platforms – everywhere I looked, this dark tale was catching the eyes and consuming the minds of readers, so you can bet your ass I was immediately intrigued.
The main setting is an old mansion and I’m assuming this is US based due to the language and descriptions. Adeline Reilly is a successful writer who inherited ‘Parsons Manor’ a gothic house on a cliff’s edge left to her by her grandmother. She finds Gigi’s (her great-grandmother’s) diary who was brutally murdered when her grandmother was a child. The reader soon sees similarities between Gigi and Adeline’s life… eerie similarities.
There’s vigilantism, sex trafficking/exploitation, child death, cults, violent sexual situations, erm… a lot of graphic 🚩sex, and a search for the truth.
Now, let me just preface this review by saying – this isn’t your run-of-the-mill crime thriller, but damn, it’s a whirlwind of a ride that got my heart racing and my palms sweating. I do feel the need to address the elephant in the room here: the disturbing content. Yes, certain themes and elements might be a tad unnerving for some readers, especially if you’re coming in with set expectations. But isn’t that what a good book does? Challenges our perceptions, pushes our boundaries, and drags us into territories we never thought we’d venture into? While some parts did give me the heebie-jeebies, they weren’t as harrowing as I’d initially imagined. Instead of grotesque crime scenes or nerve-wracking suspense, Haunting Adeline preys on the psyche. Boundaries are broken, morally grey characters thrive, readers will be torn.
The characters are sketched with such intricacy; they’re multi-layered and intriguing. Our heroine, Adeline, is a complex figure, a blend of vulnerability and strength. Her journey is tumultuous, to say the least, and you’ll find yourself rooting for her, even when the shadows of the past threaten to consume her.
And just when you think you’ve got the story figured out, H.D. Carlton throws a curveball that’ll knock you sideways. I won’t give away any spoilers, but let me just say this – that ending! It left my jaw on the floor and my mind racing with possibilities. It’s one of those finales that ensures the story lingers, that the characters stay with you, long after you’ve turned the final page.
Would I recommend this book? I definitely would, but make sure you can handle dark and disturbing scenes… don’t come at me if you can’t as you’ve been warned!Haunting Adeline is a tale that had its hooks in me. It’s evocative, beguiling, and genuinely unsettling. I thoroughly enjoyed this gothic thriller romance, and if the end is anything to go by, I’m definitely checking out the next installment.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, something that challenges the boundaries of genres and plays with your emotions, then this is the book for you.