Nate has to save Annie from a likely death once again when she discovers the truth. I would never have guessed. The key to the mystery lay in Mr Hapgood. He was the son of the woman from the prologue, and in the last seance that Annie attended, Evie May in trance accused him in the voice of his late mother of neglect. Then Annie learns that the man has tried to commit suicide. That prompts Annie to go and see Hilda Hapgood. She is upset and asks her about the last seance, and when she tells her, Hilda explains how her mother-in-law died. She was angry with Harold that day and left the house with a little valise, intending not to return. When she calmed down and got back, she found Harold passed out drunk in the living room, and as she checked her mother-in-law, she found her dead in her armchair, the string of pearls that she used to wear all over the place. Scared about the doctor thinking that she and Harold hadn’t looked after the elderly woman properly, she and Harold tidied the room, and put the woman to bed. Then the following day the maid found the woman dead, and the doctor said that she had died of a weak heart. However, as the woman tells the story, she remembers that there was a pillow next to the woman’s chair. Annie suspect that the woman might have been murdered, and whoever killed her wanted suspicion to fall on Harold. Annie questions Hilda about who would inherit the money, and she tells her that since she has failed to give Harold a child, all their assets would go to a cousin, Tony. Then Annie discovers that Tony is Anthony Pierce, the journalist who had written an article about the Framptons and whose help Nate had tried to get. It was Anthony, who had also put him in contact with the Republicans.
Annie is convinced that Anthony is his aunt’s killer and his intention was to get rid of Harold. When Hilda tells her that Mrs Nickerson had seen a photo of the cousins, she had acted strangely. So Annie thinks that the woman had realised the truth as well. Fearing for Evie May, Annie rushes to the Framptons’ to find the house in a turmoil as the couple, Albert and his wife are all loading all their belongings on a hackney intending to abscond. Annie climbs the stairs to Evie May’s room, and when she finds the room empty, she decides to check the attic. Evie May is there with a bloody knife in her hand and her mother dead next to her, and then Anthony Pierce appears. His intention is to let the girl take the blame, and when Annie tries to fight him, he takes out a gun and leaves, blocking the trapdoor to the attic. A while later she realises that the house is burning as Anthony must have set fire to it. There are a few windows in the attic, but she knows they won’t be able to escape. Yet, Evie May transforms herself into Eddie, and she produces a rope and manages to crash a window. When they are standing on the cornice, Annie knows Evie May won’t be able to help her, so she urges her to try to save herself first. When she thinks the end is close, she hears the fire brigade’s bells, and then a ladder appears to help her, and to her delight it is Nate who comes to her rescue after Mrs Hunt had alerted him about Annie’s danger as she had some kind of calling.
The end is quite lovely. Two weeks later Annie and Nate are on their way to a park and they finally talk about their feelings. Annie tells him that they should take things slowly because she knows that the reason why she was so miserable in her previous marriage was that she married a stranger. She even confesses she loves him, but they should get to know each other better before they commit themselves in marriage. That was lovely.
We also learnt earlier in the novel that Miss Lucy Pinehurst’s problem with her sister was happily sorted out. The woman wrote to her sister about what Annie had told her regarding the tricks the Framptons used. Yet, Sukie kept saying that even if they used fake lights and music, she still believed that Charlie talked to her. When her husband agreed to go to the Framptons with her, he made her promise that if there was any mention about the bank, she would have to reconsider her opinions. That day Sukie was more observant, realizing that what her sister had told her was true, and then when Evie May called her and her husband to the cabinet, the girl in the alleged voice of Charlie started talking about the bank, so Sukie finally saw the light. Now thanks to Mrs Hunt, who came to see her, Sukie has managed to reach her peace and she is happily expecting the birth of the new baby.
We also learn that Evie May is to be adopted by Mrs Hunt and her husband. The poor girl has lost her mother in such a terrible way, and she has nobody else. She is still haunted by these other personalities that Mrs Hunt claimed they were her protectors, but I really think that the girl has a mental problem. We also learn that Anthony Pierce had been arrested as well as the Framptons, who fearing a longer sentence, didn’t hesitate to tell the police that they knew Anthony had killed Mrs Nickerson. Annie decided, since she had no evidence about Anthony’s involvement in his aunt’s death, to keep quiet because that would have meant nothing but hassle to the Hapgoods.
I really loved the book. Annie and Nate are such wonderful characters, and I love the other minor characters as well like Kathleen and Beatrice. I’ve already started the next book in the series which I’m sure I’ll love as much.