My rating: 3 of 5 stars
***Warning: Some Spoilers (but I kept them vague).***
The House of Bathory is a loose retelling of the famous Blood Countess story in the makeup of a light, present-day thriller.
What hooked me initially was the use of past and present chapters. Part of the story is set in the 1600s Slovakia and part in present day Colorado. The other hook was the early discussion of Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity.
Hooked, I plodded on. A few times I considered quitting. Neither storyline is desperately compelling. The check-your-brains-at-the-door factor enters here and there, but is really a common theme in the latter half of the book which is set in present day Slovakia.
The Countess is never a main character. The historical Slovakian characters are not deep enough. They are historical figures given faint life. The modern characters have more dimension, but I can’t describe them as strong.
Jung is pretty well dropped mid-book and then thrown in at the end to tie up loose threads.
What I did enjoy, was the obvious research Lafferty did to make sure the details were in place both historically and at each present day location. Her writing style is pleasant to read. Without that, I fear, I wouldn’t have finished it.