Haunted – Perron Manor: Lee Mountford
Reviewed By Steve Stred
One of the most common plot points or tropes for haunted house stories, especially those involving sprawling mansions, is the one where a family inherits it from a relative who has passed away. Typically the relative is one who has been a recluse or distanced themselves from the rest of the family over the years, so that not much, if anything, is known about them.
This idea has been tackled by the literary giants as well as the baby-faced writers. It’s either something that’ll either excite you or turn you off.
So, keep that in mind, if you’re thinking of diving into Lee Mountford’s newest, ‘Haunted: Perron Manor.’
What I liked: Perron Manor is a massive house on an acreage near a small town. The house has history. Known history. In fact, so well known, books and paranormal investigators have all weaved its way into the lore. The story itself follows Sarah and Chloe, sisters who’ve inherited Perron Manor after their uncle passed away. They move out to the old property, excited to be owners of a mansion, even if it needs some work to update it. Chloe has an infant daughter, Emma as well as her mildly disgruntled husband Andrew.
At first, all is calm, but then odd things begin to happen. Doors opened that were left closed, knocks and bangs on the doors. An odd figure spotted on a camera.
Throughout this, Mountford gives us some great character depth. We learn a bit about Chloe’s history with the manor as well as Sarah’s military background and her struggles. I enjoyed how we got to know these characters as humans and how the natural banter between them.
The house itself is a major character. I wish Mountford had included some floor plans, as I’d have loved to see the layout. His descriptions are fantastic, but as a fan of stories that involve mansions like this, I often enjoy having a visual reminder.
Chloe and Sarah go through a great transformative arc, both individually, as well as siblings and the added dependent (Emma), makes for some fantastically tense moments.
What I didn’t like: I think the toughest thing going in for me personally, was that this is part of a series. Knowing that I didn’t expect to get all the answers, but I found I didn’t get ANY answers. We got hints and bits of what had happened and maybe why the things were occurring, but I think, personally, too much was left unanswered as a draw for readers to dive into book two. As an example (spoiler-free) a discovery is made. A book. Not once do we hear about any attempt at research being done on the book. We do get an antiquities dealer, who may or may not return to the fold in the future, but otherwise nothing.
We also get some characters brought in along the way that I felt we learned too much about with not enough pay off from them. Again, they may very well return down the road, but otherwise, it came off as a lot of space taken up for other characters, instead of moving the story along.
Why you should buy this: I enjoyed this read. I’d peg it at a middle of the road haunted house story for me. I wanted to know what was happening, but it took a bit to get the ball rolling and ultimately, the pay off at the end works but was more of a set up for the next release. Mountford does deliver some really eerie scenes, so rest assured you’ll be creeped out, but for me personally, I wanted more finality of certain things and a less open ending.
For fans of haunted house stories, this will tick all of the boxes for what makes you love that narrative.
Haunted: Perron Manor
Sisters Sarah and Chloe inherit a house they could never have previously dreamed of owning. It seems too good to be true.
Shortly after they move in, however, the siblings start to notice strange things: horrible smells, sudden drops in temperature, as well as unexplainable sounds and feelings of being watched.
All of that is compounded when they find a study upstairs, filled with occult items and a strange book written in Latin.
Their experiences grow more frequent and more terrifying, building towards a heart-stopping climax where the sisters come face to face with the evil behind Perron Manor. Will they survive and save their very souls?
Buy now and dive into the next great haunted house novel.
Haunted: Perron Manor is Book 1 in the Haunted series, which continues with Haunted: Devil’s Door
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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