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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Mateguas Island is a horror/dark fantasy novel written by Linda Watkins. Karen and Bill Anderson are a California couple with eight-year-old twin daughters. Things were pretty bright for Bill, a rising Silicon Valley star, until a minor discretion with the boss's wife and the economic downturn made him the one to be laid off when his company downsized. When Bill hears that his Aunt Janie has left him her big, old house on Mateguas Island, Maine, along with a small cash inheritance, it seems like a gift from the gods. Karen is not at all that thrilled, however, as the island seems primitive and the amenities are nowhere near those she'd been accustomed to. Then there was the girls' teacher, Maggie, who seemed to have established an instant and intense connection with Bill. Also troubling are the old tales that the house is haunted, especially the woods behind it.
Linda Watkins' supernatural thriller, Mateguas Island, is an exciting and suspenseful story rich in Native American mythology and folklore. There's a secret box that the girls find hidden underneath a floorboard in their room that holds strange papers, a bone knife, and other arcane objects. They decide to keep it as their own little secret to hold onto and decipher. Karen has her own adventures as she tries to adjust to life on the little island and discovers that her garden has some unusual properties and inhabitants, especially the rabbit that smiles at her. Bill's island fling is spooky, scary, and he seems more enmeshed in her snares than really involved with her. Add all these undercurrents of intrigue together and you get a fast-paced and unpredictable story that is both spooky and entertaining. Mateguas Island is an absorbing horror tale and is highly recommended.