After the devastating loss of her mother, Brynn Wilder takes off for some much-needed "me" time to the village of Wharton on Lake Superior. Still in the throes of deep grief, Brynn plans only to laze in the sun by the lake shore, explore the local shops, catch up on her reading and have dinner with friends who live in the area. Yet, the moment she steps across the threshold of LuAnn's, a quaint summer boarding house where she will be living over the next few months, Brynn is surrounded by a quirky group of strangers, friendly and sympathetic as well as fun-loving, who throw her plans awry. Each of LuAnn's guests has their own story to tell, with reasons of their own for spending that particular summer in Wharton.
Not long after arriving, Brynn meets Dominic, a mysterious but devastatingly handsome man whom everyone has dubbed "the Illustrated Man" because of the colorful tattoos covering his body in intricate and intriguing patterns that are deep with meaning. For most of her life, Brynn has yearned for the kind of long-lasting relationship her parents shared, to have children and to give them the same nurturing and loving upbringing she had known. Now, she believes she just might have a chance with Dominic.
Then, those bright, heady days of summer turn suddenly dark with bad dreams disturbing her sleep, eerie happenings in the middle of the night in which Brynn believes she is encountering ghosts, spirits of past boarders and the disturbing series of deaths of elderly women in the village. Somehow, she intuits, it all ties in with her relationship to Dominic. What could it all mean? Is Dominic a charming, charismatic serial killer?
In "The Haunting of Brynn Wilder," author Wendy Webb weaves a story as intricate and intriguing as Dominic's tattoos. It is a story of love and loss and love found again as the present morphs into the past and back into the present once more. And the theme threading through Webb's novel from the first page to the last is love.
Webb is that breed of writer, crafting the modern gothic suspense story whose settings in her novels are inspired by the windswept, rock-strewn shores of the Great Lakes. "The Haunting of Brynn Wilder" will draw the reader in from page one and will not only hold your attention but your curiosity until you reach the delightfully surprising conclusion.
Kimberly Bolton is a circulation clerk at Missouri River Regional Library.