Haunt Me Still

Haunt Me Still

3.5 17
by Jennifer Lee Carrell
     
 

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The modern heroine of the national bestseller Interred with Their Bones returns, in a thriller centering on Shakespeare's eeriest play.

A legendary theatrical curse . . . A rune-engraved blade, a mysterious mirror, and an ancient cauldron . . . And a ritually murdered body laid out in the manner of ancient pagan burials.

Kate Stanley, Jennifer Lee

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Overview

The modern heroine of the national bestseller Interred with Their Bones returns, in a thriller centering on Shakespeare's eeriest play.

A legendary theatrical curse . . . A rune-engraved blade, a mysterious mirror, and an ancient cauldron . . . And a ritually murdered body laid out in the manner of ancient pagan burials.

Kate Stanley, Jennifer Lee Carrell's dauntless Shakespearean scholarturned- director, made a memorable-and New York Times bestselling- debut in Interred with Their Bones. Having chased down her mentor's killer (and recovering one of Shakespeare's lost plays in the process), Kate's fame as a director with an expertise in "occult Shakespeare" catapults her-and Ben Pearl, her partner in crime-solving-into a new production of Macbeth, showcasing a fabled collection of objects relating both to the play and the historical Scottish king for whom it is named.

The Bard's witch-haunted play is famously cursed, its reputation for malevolence so strong that many actors refuse to quote or even name the play aloud. And as rehearsals begin at the foot of Scotland's Dunsinnan Hill, it doesn't take long for the curse to stir. Strange references to the boy actor who first played Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's day-and died in the role-pop up. A trench atop Dunsinnan Hill is found filled with blood, and a severed human thumb turns up among the props. And Kate begins sleepwalking, waking early one morning alone atop the hill, her hands smeared with blood.

Kate has no memory of how she got there, but later that day a local woman is found dead on the hill in circumstances that suggest not just ritual murder but ancient pagan sacrifice. With the police more focused on Kate as a suspect than as a possible future victim, she and Ben find themselves in a desperate race to discover a lost version of Macbeth, said to contain rituals of witchcraft aimed at conjuring demonic forces to gain forbidden knowledge. However much Kate would like to dismiss such rituals as superstition, someone else appears willing to kill for them-and for the manuscript said to spell them out.

Marked for sacrifice, can Kate Stanley uncover the killer before she becomes the next victim?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Agreeing to direct Shakespeare's notoriously ill-starred “Scottish play” plunges scholar-sleuth Kate Stanley into a cauldron of trouble in this heady, occult-steeped thriller, the sequel to Interred with Their Bones. The reclusive Lady Nairn, decades earlier the bewitching actress Janet Douglas, plans a production featuring priceless Macbeth-linked antiquities, her own return to the stage, and—if Kate can find it—a rumored earlier version of the play said to include actual magic rites. No sooner does the cast assemble at Lady Nairn's Scottish castle, however, than all hell breaks loose. Kate's hallucinatory vision of the savaged body of Lady Nairn's granddaughter foreshadows two very real murders—with Kate a prime suspect. Carrell deftly uses literary scholarship as a springboard for her plot, especially the suspense-building leaps back to Shakespeare's day. She's less successful with the supernatural elements, which increasingly strain credulity, and an anemic romantic subplot.(Apr.)
Library Journal
The sequel to Interred with Their Bones finds academic-turned-director Kate Stanley and secret agent Ben Pearl catching up in a new production of Macbeth that will feature objects from the original play and that is being staged by a descendant of the infamous Scottish king. Many actors consider Shakespeare's play to be cursed. While Kate isn't superstitious, she starts to wonder when she sees a vision of a young girl bound and gagged and when one of the cast members turns up brutally murdered a few days later. The action eventually picks up as Kate chases around England and on to America, searching for an original Macbeth manuscript that seems to have strong ties to one of England's most famous occult scholars. VERDICT The slow start and overload of supernatural elements makes this sequel a disappointment after Carrell's sharp debut. However, readers who enjoy historical and literary thrillers and are willing to put up with an occult subplot may be interested. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/09.]—Jessica E. Moyer, Univ. of Minnesota, Coll. of Ed. & Human Development, Minneapolis
Patrick Anderson
…if you have a serious interest in Shakespeare and his plays, there's much to enjoy here…this lively and fact-filled novel would do nicely for a rainy day at the beach.
—The Washington Post

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525950776
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/15/2010
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Jennifer Lee Carrell holds a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Harvard University and is the author of The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox. In addition to writing for Smithsonian magazine, Carrell has taught in the history and literature program at Harvard and has directed Shakespeare for Harvard’s Hyperion Theatre Company. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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