Erin McCarthy weaves a compelling and eerie tale of ghosts and demons in her novel The Taking. Skillfully melding picturesque scenes of modern New Orleans with a mystery based in that unique city during the late 1870s, McCarthy depicts the life of heiress Regan Henry Alcroft as she seeks to free herself from an unhappy marriage to an overbearing and controlling husband, Beau Alcroft. Regan’s chance encounter with the charismatic voodoo priest, Felix Leblanc, gives her the impetus to firm her resolve to divorce Alcroft while learning to pursue her own desires, one of which is to buy an extremely large house that she has fallen in love with. One unpleasant discovery is that this house was the site of the tragic deaths of most of the Comeaux family during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 and there seem to be even more disturbing details associated with it. Regan discovers that the only surviving member of the Comeaux family was a young woman named Camille who died under mysterious circumstances several months after losing the rest of her family to Yellow Fever. Regan’s chance discovery of Camille’s journal seems to be the catalyst for her to experience several disturbingly real dreams that feature Camille engaged in unholy activities while eerie occurrences begin to manifest in the house itself. Astoundingly, Felix LeBlanc and her soon to be ex-husband seem to be intertwined in the waking nightmare that Regan’s life becomes and only by correctly identifying who her true enemy is and dealing with Camille’s desires will she survive to enjoy her newfound freedom.
This was a delightfully chilling book that was difficult to put down yet was not something to be read alone in the middle of the night! Erin McCarthy does a masterful job of evoking the lazy ambience and quirky individuality of New Orleans juxtaposed with the trademark voodoo and mysticism that characterizes much of the flavor of the city. A beautiful love story with paranormal elements or is that a spooky paranormal story with romantic elements? Either way, well worth the read!
Nearly a century ago, Felix Leblanc made a deal with the demon of greed. Now he’s the most celebrated and powerful voodoo priest in New Orleans, able to enchant anything he wishes from wealthy, beautiful women. Until one client—beautiful and dangerous—brings his reign to a disastrous end, condemning Felix to servitude and a loveless eternity of never being wanted for himself…
New Orleans, now. Heiress Regan Henry knows that passion can be an illusion, and she keeps her emotions in check—until she falls under the spell of the beguiling Felix LeBlanc. He’s knows that the rumors that her mansion is haunted are true, and that he’s the only one who can save her from the spirits residing there. But the only way he can do it is to sacrifice his last chance at redemption…or risk a love that could consign them both to an eternity of evil.