Regular price: $37.27

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $37.27

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

As soon as Kerstin Kvist arrives at remote, ivy-covered Lydstep Old Hall in Essex, she feels like a character in a gothic novel. A young nurse fresh out of school, Kerstin has been hired for a position with the Cosway family, residents of the Hall for generations. She is soon introduced to her "charge", John Cosway, a 39-year-old man whose strange behavior is vaguely explained by his mother and sisters as part of the madness that runs in the family.Weeks go by at Lydstep with little to mark the passage of time beyond John's daily walks and the amusingly provincial happenings that engross the Cosway women, and Kerstin occupies her many free hours at the Hall reading or making entries into her diary. Meanwhile, bitter wrangling among Julia Cosway and her four grown daughters becomes increasingly evident. But this is just the most obvious of the tensions that charge the old remote estate, with its sealed rooms full of mystery. Soon Kerstin will find herself in possession of knowledge she will wish she'd never attained, secrets that will propel the occupants of Lydstep Old Hall headlong into sexual obsession, betrayal, and, finally, murder.
©2006 Barbara Vine; (P)2006 Books on Tape
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Palpable, and...satisfying." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is very satisfying reading, a sort of blend of Edgar Allan Poe and Anthony Trollope. Readers of both Rendell and Vine will love this expansive excursion." (Booklist)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Susan B. on 12-12-07

Top notch Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine draws you along through the story, introducing history, bit by bit, the same way you get to know someone. By the end of the story you find yourself completely intrigued by the goings on. I wanted to listen to it again right after finishing it. Great for any fan of Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendell, one of the best of hers I've "read".

Read More Hide me

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

By Yennta on 08-04-09


Six stars. Maybe her best, and she's so amazingly good! I've just re-listened to this book. It was absolutely riveting the second time around, just like the first. It's PERFECT. Perfect characters, perfect everything. I could see it, feel it, smell it. Rosalyn Landor was also, just perfect. This is just a terrific book.

Read More Hide me

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc