Saturday, 8 December 2012

Escape the Night by Mignon G. Eberhart

The night had a thousand eyes and ears; the night had no breath, no heartbeat, only silence and treachery.

Will she escape the night? Serena March is back home in San Francisco for a holiday after four years in New York. Serena left San Francisco as a nineteen year old after her sister's marriage to Sutton. Serena had never been close to her Sister Amanda, they were neither friends nor enemies. A chance encounter with her sister's friend Leda had prompted her to visit her sister. Her sister is in some kind of trouble. But that was not that prompted her back home. It was the fleeting moment of romance with Jem that had stayed in her memory forever. There was something about that fleeting moment that she hopes that there would be more. Back home all is not well. Everybody is changed. Even her sister is not like she remembered. Her gang of friends are no more the same and incidents follow one after another and her sister turns against her.

Sutton's aunt falls off a cliff, Dave's laboratory is burnt, Leda knows something, Amanda believes that Serena is responsible. Serena is loyal to her sister and tries her best to protect, but can she? What is happening to her friends? What are the secrets that they are hiding?

She knew something was happening in the house.

The knowledge of it obtruded itself stealthily between her and the book in her hands so she read the same lines over and over, not taking in their sense. She was listening so hard that it was as if her eyes and her hands and every pore in her body had suddenly developed audient power; but there was nothing to hear. The house was quiet.

This is the beginning that drew me immediately into the story. Can't help sympathising with Serena, go home for fun and a chance for romance, end up embroiled with murder, suspicion, jealousy and all other ugly emotions. Eberhart plays a nice little trick in the end. I didn't guess the killer. The trick did throw me off the scent. A terrific read published in 1944.

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