In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell is a lively story in the gothic style that I mostly enjoyed. Kate Moore meets handsome, wealthy, kind Matthew Lemont on a transatlantic crossing and is thrilled when he wants to continue their relationship after they dock in New York. On a whim, she travels with him in his private train car to Chicago, where they wed after a short courtship. This should be the answer to Kate’s prayers, who was determined to marry well to escape her violent and poverty-stricken past—a past that she is careful to hide from Matthew.
When Matthew takes Kate to his family’s estate—a crumbling hodgepodge of a mansion on Lake Michigan, cobbled together from odds and ends Matthew’s grandfather imported from Europe—Kate begins to realize that the Lemonts have their own dark secrets. What happened to the aunt, who disappeared one night after holding a strange ceremony in the labyrinth built on the grounds? And why does Matthew’s twin sister seem so jealous of Kate?
The story is a page turner that is hard to put down. I have mixed feelings about the ending though; I wish there had been more hints that the person who takes the final action of the novel had the potential to do such a thing.