Blackness Tower
Lillian Stewart Carl
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Buy *Blackness Tower* by Lillian Stewart Carl online

Blackness Tower
Lillian Stewart Carl
Juno Books
240 pages
May 2008
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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It's difficult to know what to make of Blackness Tower. In some ways, it's really interesting with atmospheric writing, a varied cast of characters and an underlying historical mystery. In other ways, it's a disappointment - never really gripping, sometimes very heavy going, and with occasional inaccuracies in terms of the setting in Scotland.

We follow the central character, Lauren Reay, as she narrates her journey to Scotland to visit Blackness Tower, a building that has been in her dreams and imagination for years before she realized it truly existed. The owner of Blackness Tower, ex-soldier David Sutherland, has been dismissive of her over the phone, but when she arrives in the village and he sees her in person, the situation changes. Lauren is a doppelgänger for a woman in a painting that hangs in Blackness Tower, one of her ancestors, and so starts a journey of discovery for Lauren. There's an archaeologist digging up the grave of her ancestor and a TV presenter looking for proof of the paranormal. These four characters intersect, discover new things and mistrust each other until the secret behind Lauren's dreams is revealed.

I have alluded to some of the things that I didn't find satisfying in the book, the main one being the local Scottish people lapsing into Americanisms. The pace of the book is also quite difficult to cope with, events rolling on one after the other with little time for reflection and understanding. The people are all a little weird (which I believe isn't the case in Scotland) and not entirely convincing as characters. However, overall it is a reasonable read, particularly in the quality of the author's descriptive writing and her imagination.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Helen Hancox, 2008

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