Haunt Me Still

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Overview

"Kate Stanley'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

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Overview

"Kate Stanley'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. A trench atop Dunsinnan Hill is found filled with blood shortly after some of the actors go missing. And a mysterious tarot card leads Kate into the woods, where she finds a local woman dead in circumstances that suggest not just ritual murder, but ancient pagan sacrifice." With Kate marked as both suspect and future victim, she and Ben find themselves in a desperate race to discover a dangerous version of Macbeth said to contain actual rituals of witchcraft and forbidden knowledge. However much Kate would like to dismiss such rituals as superstition, someone else appears willing to kill for them - and for the cursed manuscript said to be Shakespeare's darkest secret.

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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: 4/15/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Overwrought and Unconvincing

    Loved "Interred With Their Bones" and found this book a disappointment. Having met Carrell, I know her to be bright, thoughtful and interesting, but I found this book to be confusing and often illogical, with a plot that required too much of a stretch of the imagination to be believed. As in her previous novel, the academic research on Shakespeare is impressive, but the magic theme is overdone and unconvincing. The development of the Ben & Kate characters and their relationship is neglected, while we are inundated by witchcraft and fantastical and improbable events. I was hoping for a page-turner, but ended up turning pages just to finish. I'm not giving up on Carrell, however, and will look forward to her next novel, hoping for tighter editing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Book

    For anyone who is a fan of Dan Brown's books and style of writing, Jennifer Lee Carrell's book will be right up your alley. Haunt Me Still brings back Kate and Ben from Interred With Their Bones.
    In this book Kate is taken to Scotland where she has been asked to direct Shakespeare's most haunted play Macbeth. Soon after arrival, Kate is once again thrust into the middle of a mystery involving the bard. Not only that, but she also starts questioning herself when she begins to see things that aren't there.
    Will Kate be able to solve this mystery before people get hurt? Or will Shakespeare's most cursed play claim its next vision...her?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Must be a McBeth lover

    I read half of this book because it meanders too much. I may go back to it but wouldn't be surprised if I didn't.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Little odd but good

    This book is not in the same league with Carrell's previous Shakespearean based book, but it still is a good, though sort of strange read with all of the English pagan religious imagery.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an enjoyable amateur sleuth take on Macbeth

    Although she knows the rumor of a curse associated with this dark play, "Occult Shakespeare" expert Kate Stanley directs a production of Macbeth near Dunsinnan Hill, Scotland. Her partner Ben Pearl is also with her as he was when they found a missing Shakespearean manuscript and something much more lethal (see Interred with Their Bones).

    However, unexplained phenomena haunt the rendition as the infamous curse seems real. First there is mumblings about the boy actor who played Lady Macbeth during the Elizabethan Era opening only to die in the role. Then there is the trench filled with blood that the crew and cast wonder if it might be a warning from Lady Macbeth as there would have to have been a major monstrous massacre to produce all that crimson. Finally Kate acts possessed when she sleepwalks. When she awakens at the top of Dunsinnan Hill she is frightened as she has no idea how she got there nor why her hands are drenched in blood. The cops think they can answer that bloody question when they find the corpse of a woman on the hill. With Ben at her side, Kate investigates refusing to believe the Bard had demonic rituals written into the play as the director assumes a more mortal murderer makes mischievous mayhem.

    This is an enjoyable amateur sleuth take on Macbeth in which the opening theme of "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble" is the prime premise of Haunt Me Still. Although over the top of Dunsinnan Hill, but rich with the Bard's lore and history of productions of Macbeth, fans will enjoy Jennifer Lee Carrell's fine Shakespearean spin.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    Kate and her cohort, Ben, are working on a play, Macbeth with their own twist. A lot of actors won't touch this play because of it's history. Some won't even speak it's name. Kate starts to find herself in different places with no recollection of how she got there. When people start dying and the deaths look like a part of a pagan ritual, Kate is forced to believe in the curse. She and Ben set out to find a long lost version of this play that holds the answers they seek.

    I love a good mystery. The plot was good, the writing was good. I really enjoyed Jennifer's book and now I realize that I'm going to have to get her other books. I give it a 4 out of 5 all the way around.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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