Book Review: The Presence

“Imagine, if you will, the great laird of the castle! The MacNiall himself, famed and infamous, a figure to draw both fear and awe…”

The Presence is a book written by Heather Graham and is set in (big surprise) Scotland. I can assure you that I do read books set in other countries, it just happens that I seem to keep picking up and enjoying those that are Scottish themed. I have to say, I feel like I had to “graduate” to Heather Graham books. When I was big into the historical romance genre, I did read her One Wore… trilogy and really enjoyed them. However it took me some time to pick up one of her paranormal suspense books. Once I finally did, The Presence was the one I chose and I was hooked! After reading it, I went on a major Heather Graham book buying spree and ended up with most of her books in this same genre.

The Presence is about Toni Fraser and her friends who put a lot of money and effort into turning an old run-down Scottish castle into a huge tourist destination. Night after night, they put on reenactments that involve local history, murder, and an imaginary laird named Bruce MacNiall.

Toni’s business venture becomes quite popular but then girls in the local town start dying just as a mysterious man bursts through the castle doors claiming to be the real Laird MacNiall. Toni is stunned- how can it be that this man exists? Toni invented him for the purposes of the performance… yet he does exist. And not only that, but scary lifelike dreams suggest that Bruce is connected to the grisly recent murders.

This book is excellent and was a great breath of fresh air for me. Most of the novels I read center primarily around a romance and it’s always nice to read a book- and not only that but be fascinated with said book- that revolves around a different aspect. Graham’s more recent books are of the paranormal suspense genre and are nothing like paranormal romance. Ghosts frequent her books and The Presence is no exception. It’s really interesting to get involved with both the mystery of Bruce MacNiall (past and present) and the mystery of the murders.

Characters are memorable and have their own individual personality. The best thing about Graham’s books is that you can read each one of them as stand alones even though some characters do cross-over from one book to the next.

Final Review: 3/5 stars.

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