A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne
I've read a lot of F.G. Cottam's books over the past couple of years (Dark Echo and The House of Lost Souls were the best offerings), and while he's no Stephen King, he's pretty good at summoning a good scary story. This is the first book I've read by Sarah Rayne, and I actually Googled her to see if she was actually the pen-name for F.G. Cottam, or maybe the other way around. The writing is startlingly similar.
This story time-hops from early Victorian England and the journal entries of a well-to-do unhappily married woman to the 1980s and an unhappily married woman to present time and an unhappily unmarried woman with a secret. (Well. All three women have secrets, but it would take me about twenty paragraphs to get into all that.)
I enjoyed this book, mainly because it contained my favorite ingredients for a horror story: a crumbling and abandoned Victorian mansion turned mental asylum, a seemingly sweet but unhinged villain, and creepy children. That's pretty much all I need to get lost in the narrative.
While the ending was sort of meh, I'm going to pick up a few more of her novels and give them a go. Who doesn't like escaping into a creepy novel every once in a while?