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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Meg Hafdahl’s Her Dark Inheritance (The Willoughby Chronicles, Book 1) tells the story of Daphne Forrest. Before Jane－Daphne’s mother－succumbed to a brain tumor, she opened up to Daphne about her personal thoughts and past. Her mother's string of confessions surprised her, but Jane’s most shocking confession was that she was accused of murdering her family when she was a teenager. Daphne realizes that she never really knew her late mother. She travels to Willoughby, Minnesota, a place where Jane was born and raised and had a different name. Daphne wants to search for clues in order to prove that her mom was not a murderer. However, the townsfolk of Willoughby treat her as an anomaly rather than a visitor, and Daphne has to be careful not to let them know that she’s the daughter of the one they dubbed the “Minnesota Borden.”
Her Dark Inheritance is an intriguing read from the start. The impenetrable tangle of mystery surrounding the infamous murder of the Bergmans and even the strange people of Willoughby kept me on edge. The reference to the notorious Lizzie Borden murders of 1892 is deftly done. The characterization is solid; each of the characters has her or his own intriguing aspects, and they really come to life when we are getting closer to the truth of the murders. I rooted for Daphne instantly, although it took some time for me to relate to Edwin, despite him being an ‘anomaly’ in Willoughby like Daphne. Flashbacks to 1982 also do the heavy lifting for the plot, bringing us closer to the truth and surprising us with good twists. The town might be small in scale, but the scope of its creepy enigma is wide. This engaging supernatural thriller is a solid start for the series from Meg Hafdahl, and is a treat for the fans of the genre.