Between The Lines

Drowned Murmurs

Drowned Murmurs - Honor Amelia Dawson

Author: Honor A Dawson

Published: June 2014 by Stoats & Swan

Category: Supernatural, Mystery


'Michaela and Sam are renovating a Victorian house. Primrose Cottage has a tragic history which somehow influences Michaela’s emotional stability. Local residents provoke a strong reaction from Michaela, their nasty accusations of abuse and child murders refer to Catherine who once lived in Michaela’s new home. Unconvinced, effected by personal conflicts, Michaela sets out to investigate Catherine’s family life, a mystery with angry undercurrents'.


Set in an old house in Cornwall the story parallels the lives of two women. Michaela in the present day and Catherine, who lived there in the early 1900s and is one of Michaela’s ancestors. Michaela has inherited the house from an uncle she never met. She and her husband, Sam, are renovating the property for themselves. The house has a less than favourable history and Michaela and Sam are warned against settling there.


After having several visions about Catherine and the distressing events in her life, Michaela confides in Sam and decides she wants to prove Catherine innocent of the accusations levelled against her. Michaela is convinced the rumours surrounding Catherine are unfounded. 


Catherine’s story is very sad and I appreciate the difficulties she faced as a woman without rights of any sort in the days of terrible inequality. The cultural and environmental factors of the time were not focused on the welfare or support of women. I could feel Catherine’s frustration and feelings of injustice at her helplessness.


The premise of the story is interesting and makes you wonder if evil and tragedy can live on and affect future generations. 


'‘You think this is about Bloomer?’
‘Are you completely stupid?’
He perched on the bed and reached out his hand. She knocked it away. ‘Just go, I want to be alone. And don’t bother me again.’'
Sadly, I couldn’t empathize with Michaela. She comes across as very abrasive, especially to Sam, and, to be honest, I was quite surprised he took all that was dished out as meekly as he did. Although the possible cause is discovered and she is redeemed somewhat, as it’s written in the book ‘it explains but doesn’t excuse.’ For all that she wants to dig and find out the truth when Sam sees a suspicious photograph Michaela doesn’t want to take it further, saying it’s none of her business.
There are several missed edits which was quite off-putting and frustrating after a while.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the author.