Reviewed by Emma Crowley
What if you recalled memories from a life that wasn't yours, from a life before?
When Becky steps into Jonathon Nelson's atmospheric photography studio in Whitby, she is simply a freelance journalist in search of a story. But as soon as she puts on the beautiful Victorian dress and poses for a photograph, she becomes somebody quite different...
From that moment on, Becky is overcome with visions and flashbacks from a life that isn't her own - some disturbing and filled with fear.
As she and Jon begin to unravel the tragic mystery behind her strange experiences, the natural affinity that they have for each other continues to grow and leads them to question - have they met somewhere before? Perhaps not just in this life but in another?
Some Veil Did Fall is the first of the Rossetti mysteries by Kirsty Ferry and having read the blurb I was eager to start reading this story. I love time slip novels so thought this book would be my ideal read. It held such promise but sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations, the first half of the book was a bit all over the place for me and it is only in the second half that the story picked up and began to make a bit more sense. The cover is also a bit disappointing I think it’s a bit too pink giving the impression this is chick lit which it is definitely not although the house and horses do tie in with the era the book is set in.
This book is set in Whitby where we meet Becky - a freelance journalist who is in town to report on the gothic festival which takes place twice a year. Here Becky bumps into Jon - a portrait photographer specialising in the Victorian era. Becky remembers Jon as the brother of her childhood friend Lissy and soon re-establishes a connection .She visits Jon’s studio where she tries on a unique Victorian dress in order to be photographed but something strange overtakes her and from here on numerous ‘paranormal’ unexplainable events begin to occur. Becky discovers a beautiful antique writing slope and unlocks its secret compartment only to discover an invitation from the 1860’s and an old black and white photo showing a man and woman. What do these clues mean and how are they connected to the people in the picture? Becky feels the people in the photo are close by and are talking to her and taking her over and even Jon begins to feel a bit strange. Why are they still around well over a hundred years later? What are they trying to say? Do they need help?
So begins Becky and Jon’s search to find the truth about these people Ella and Adam. Staying at Carrick Park Hotel she soon discovers this is where Adam and Ella lived and her quest becomes of even more importance as several unsettling events occur in the rooms of the hotel. I didn’t realise this novel would have paranormal aspects so you do have to suspend your belief and just accept that there are ghostly happenings dotted throughout the book. The first half of this book was disappointing as it seemed to jump from one thing to another very quickly and the characters seemed to be rushing here and there without ever achieving much.
I also felt Becky knew random things very quickly, things that would be difficult for anyone to discover unless they had done plenty of research. Jon never seemed to question her or probe deeper but took for granted what she was saying. Midway through the first section pops up Becky’s ex Seb who she is trying to leave behind. He certainly came across as quite sinister with his threatening and intimidating behaviour and at this point he seemed quite a random addition to the story but towards the end it became clear why he needed to feature.
I am glad I kept going with this book because the quality of the second half where we slip back in time to the era of Ella, Adam, Lydia and Jacob was far better than when I was reading about modern day Whitby. Slowly I could see connections being made and the two eras began to come together. We discover why Ella is haunting Becky and by the time I got to the end I realised the author was actually quite clever in how she made the stories connect. Personally I would have preferred each chapter to alternate between modern day and the Victorian era as the first two sections were too long and the third section therefore felt very rushed as if the author was trying to cram everything in to get the story told and wrap up any loose ends.
So overall a novel of two contrasting halves for me but Some Veil Did Fall is worth a read. If this is part one of The Rossetti Mysteries I will be quite interested to see where Kirsty Ferry goes next. Will we see the return of Becky perhaps in a different era?
Many thanks to Sharon for sending this to me to review and also thanks to the publishers Choc Lit.