The Darkness Surrounds Us
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Nellie Lester flees Chicago and the 1918 Spanish flu to take a nursing job at a decrepit manor on a desolate island, where she must grapple with a ghostly presence to find out if the murder of the prior nurse is connected to her family’s past.
“An early-autumn treat fit for late-night devouring.” —Publishers Weekly
“A taut gothic mystery with an intriguing twist.” —Susanna Calkins, award-winning author of the Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Murders
A Ghostly Window Into the Past
Nurse Nellie Lester can’t escape death. Fleeing Chicago at the height of the 1918 Spanish flu, she takes a nursing job at a decrepit mansion on a desolate Michigan island. She’s convinced the island holds the secret to her mother’s murky past. The only problem? Her dead mother seems to have followed her there. Nightly she’s haunted by a ghostly presence that appears in her bedroom. But is it her mother or something more sinister?
When the frozen body of the prior nurse is unearthed, Nellie suspects her family’s history and the nurse’s uncanny death are connected to a mysterious group that disappeared from the island twenty-four years earlier.
As winter closes in, past and present collide resurrecting a lurid killer, hell-bent on keeping the island’s secrets. Will Nellie uncover her mother’s shocking past before the killer enacts his final revenge?
“Lukasik blends all the elements needed for a dark suspense novel: a forbidding mansion, ghostly presences, secret passages, a hostile housekeeper, a temperamental employer, and residents unwilling to talk to outsiders. For fans of Rebecca, The Woman in White, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.” —Library Journal
“Lukasik (White Like Her) delivers a gripping ghost story of pandemics past in this well-crafted gothic mystery . . . Readers will sympathize with Nellie’s fears and frustrations, and Lukasik maintains a deliciously dark tension throughout. With unpredictable plotting and superior atmospherics, this is an early-autumn treat fit for late-night devouring.” —Publishers Weekly
“VERDICT: Lukasik blends all the elements needed for a dark suspense novel: a forbidding mansion, ghostly presences, secret passages, a hostile housekeeper, a temperamental employer, and residents unwilling to talk to outsiders. For fans of Rebecca, The Woman in White, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.” —Library Journal
“If you like classic Gothic mysteries with a dash of ghostly shadowing, then The Darkness Surrounds Us is for you. Author Lukasik delivers an engaging concoction, set in 1918, that consists of all the right ingredients: a young nurse protagonist with a puzzle in her past, a creepy and isolated island setting, an old creaky mansion that rivals Manderley, a colorful and suspiciously sinister supporting cast, and the discoveries of a corpse or two. Atmospheric and poetic, this is a tale that will keep you turning the pages until you reach the final, startling revelation.” —Raymond Benson, author of The Mad, Mad Murders of Marigold Way
“Moody and atmospheric, The Darkness Surrounds Us by Gail Lukasik is a taut gothic mystery with an intriguing twist. Her heroine, Nurse Nellie Lester, is resourceful and determined as she unravels old and new secrets in her search to make sense of her own past. Readers will enjoy the romantic undertones and the unrelenting suspense in this classically imagined tale.” —Susanna Calkins, award-winning author of the Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Murders