The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

After seeing great reviews for this book, I treated myself to a copy of this debut novel to join in with the Motherload Facebook book discussion on Monday 3rd May. Today I’m sharing a mini review.


Some secrets are unspoken. Others are unspeakable . . .

August 1939. As the Second World War looms, thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright is tasked with the evacuation and safekeeping of the natural history museum’s famous collection of mammals. But once she and her exhibits arrive at Lockwood Manor, Hetty soon realizes that she’s taken on more than she’d bargained for . . .

Protecting her priceless animals from the irascible Lord Lockwood and resentful servants is hard enough, but when a series of mysterious events occur, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the gothic mansion.

As her fears build, Hetty finds herself falling under the spell of Lucy, Lord Lockwood’s beautiful but haunted daughter. But why is Lucy so traumatized? Does she know something she’s not telling? And is there any truth to local rumours of ghosts and curses?

My thoughts:

I’m very pleased that I treated myself to a copy of this book, and didn’t leave it lingering on my book trolley for months. This book fits a wide range of genres, including historical fiction, mystery and romance.

The tension built beautifully, as the exhibits started to move in the night at Lockwood Manor, other items went missing, and strange noises were heard. Would this be the end of Hetty’s career with the museum? What had really happened to Lucy’s mum and grandmother?

I’m not giving away any spoilers but I will say that I enjoyed how the story evolved, so much so, that I had to keep on reading. This was a book I didn’t want to put down – thank goodness we had a bank holiday weekend with an extra day off work.

If you haven’t read this book, then I’m recommending that you buy a copy and enjoy curling up with it. I’m thrilled to see that Jane Healey is publishing a second book later this year.

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.


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