- Virginia Johnson
In Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough, it’s 1958, and Cora and her small sister Mimi have been taken from their London home and dumped in the middle of the English marshes where something is waiting for them.
But it’s not their Aunt Ida. She clearly doesn’t want them living with her, yet they really have no place else to go. Their dad is in the middle of some dicey “business deals,” and their mum’s away—whatever that means. No one will tell them where she is. No one will tell them anything important—such as why they’re not allowed to play at the old church, who the frightening old man in the painting is, and what is lurking in the shadows at the crumbling Guerdon family estate.
Their new home is a tottering mansion that is often surrounded entirely by tidal water. Aunt Ida keeps all the doors locked and all the windows nailed shut, even in the heat of August. Local boys Rodger and his brother Pete want to be friends, but they also want to take the girls to the ancient churchyard, where Aunt Ida has told them never to go. And if little Mimi doesn’t want to go inside, well, they’ll just leave her then. By herself.
Best read with the lights on, Long Lankin brings realistic characters and tremendous suspense together to tell a compelling story about an ancient evil.