The Golden Key by Marian Womack

1901. After the death of Queen Victoria, England heaves with the uncanny. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms.Helena Walton-Cisneros, known for her ability to find the lost and the displaced, is hired by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.But the Fens are an age-old land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. The locals speak of devilmen and catatonic children are found on the Broads. Here, Helena finds what she was sent for, as the Fenland always gives up its secrets, in the end… (taken from Amazon)


This book made me feel dumb. Not in a “these concepts are really smart and I just need to do some research to understand what’s happening” way, but in a “What did I miss? Did I accidentally skip a chapter” way. It was incredibly disjointed. I kept having to go back to see if I’d missed something. I hadn’t. It just jumped forward in large chunks, and switched points of view at really odd times. It might have been intentional, meant to confuse the reader. It definitely worked.

The writing had an eerie, gothic feel to it, which I really liked. I felt like there was always a mystery waiting to be solved, and I enjoyed the tension felt throughout the book. The question of who Sam was and where he came from kept me guessing. That was part of the reason the abrupt shifts in story-line annoyed me so much: every time I started to get invested in what was going on, it would jump to another (seemingly unrelated) part of the story.

Once the story got going, I enjoyed it. It took too long to get there, though, and I ended up not enjoying it as much as I expected to. I give this book a resounding “eh.” It’s not bad, it’s just not great.

6 thoughts on “The Golden Key by Marian Womack

  1. I was on this blog tour but had a guest post, which ended up being a luck of the draw because I felt the same way. The writing had such a great feel but then I also felt like that kinda got wasted on the way the pacing panned out.

    Liked by 1 person

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