Shepherd's Warning by Cailyn Lloyd #BookReview

For years the abandoned MacKenzie mansion remained hidden in rural Wisconsin. Rumors and stories of apparitions, odd noises, accidents, and strange deaths in or near the property were enough to convince the townsfolk it was haunted and they stayed away.

Lucas MacKenzie and his brother Nate know nothing of this when they inherit the property and decide to bring their families to Wisconsin for a major renovation project with HGTV stardom in mind. As they tear out old fixtures and open shuttered windows, the house begins to reveal secrets of a terrible past and it soon becomes clear the MacKenzies are in grave danger. In the end, only one person can save them.

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Shepherd’s Warning 4 Star Review

Shepherd's Warning is a slow, but tantalizing haunted house story that left me breathless. A family inherits an old mysterious house and soon discovers that something dark is lurking within the walls.

There's a lot of characters to keep track of, which was a little confusing from time-to-time. But each of them play a vital role in the outcome, adding flavor and texture to the page. Laura MacKenzie is the lead heroine, and she's all grit, even if she's a bit reluctant to admit it. Her arc starts as a doting wife, grief stricken over the loss of her son, and escalates to an empowered fighter of evil. She's the heart of the story, and as evil seeps onto the page, it's her survival I was most invested in.

But I also loved the ghost story. I saw each scene play out in my mind like a horror movie, filled with deliciously sinister jump scares and bloody fight scenes. I could almost hear the eerie music in the background as I explored the basement of the haunted house alongside the characters. The ability to put me right in the thick of the plot truly made this an incredible reading experience. There's plenty of "showing" rather than "telling" and I found myself holding my breath for the final scene.

Yes, haunted house books are plentiful. And there are some cliches in this one, but that doesn't diminish the incredible writing, plot construction and character arcs of this story. It's gripping from start to end and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a scare. Just make sure to read it with the lights on!