With nothing to hold her at home, widowed Catherine deClaire Reed answers her sister Elizabeths summons to come to the old family plantation of Whispering Oaks.

When she arrives she finds her sister is missing, her brother-in-law seems unconcerned, the housekeeper makes ominous comments, the servants are obviously frightened, and her niece continually hums a haunting melody. This is quite a lot for Cat to take in, but shes especially concerned when her recollections of Elizabeth do not match the person her sister has reportedly become.

Shortly after Elizabeths body is found and she is interred in the family crypt, John suggests Cat marry him for her nieces stability and her own security. Cat apprehensively agrees. After an idyllic honeymoon in New Orleans they return to Whispering Oaks and the suspicions begin again, stirred up by friends and family.

As this Gothic tale climaxes, all the loose threads are woven together in a bittersweet ending to a suspenseful read. SENSUAL (Oct., 361 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner