The Florio family, a rich society couple with two beautiful adopted daughters, is hiding dark secrets beneath a facade of love and care.
But the fabric of the family is slowly unraveling under the weight of Barbara Florio's chronic drinking and drug abuse as well as the youngest daughter's penchant for arson.
A House of Many Rooms by Marius Gabriel was originally published in 1999, and was recently re-issued by Thistle Publishing on 14 January 2014.
This is a genre-busting novel that incorporates the action of a thriller with a smouldering romance and is fast-paced enough to keep the reader hooked throughout.
The Florio family are rich but extremely dysfunctional. Parents Michael and Barbara are separated and their two adopted daughters are troubled and confused. As Barbara becomes more dependent upon drugs and alcohol, her two daughters are left to do exactly as they please, which ends in tragedy for Barbara, and is the beginning of a discovery for the two girls.
On the other side of the world, Dr Rebecca Carey is recovering from a climbing accident when she spots an article about the Florio family and instantly recognises ghosts from her past. It is clear that youngest daughter Therese is the main suspect in the hunt for a murderer and Rebecca is determined that she must go to the aid of this young girl. To explain why Rebecca feels the need to travel so many miles to help a stranger would be to spoil the plot for other readers, but it is an integral part of the story and not quite as random as it seems.
What follows is a fast-paced story populated by well drawn characters, although I believe that Marius Gabriel creates evil far better than he creates good! I was drawn to the bad guy, and to be honest, found Rebecca a tiny bit irritating at times.
However, the story is well constructed with some fabulously realistic characters and that hint of dangerous liaison running most of the way through.
I'd certainly read more by Marius Gabriel, and would like to thank the author for sending my copy for review.
Marius Gabriel was born in South Africa in 1954.
His first full-length novel, The Original Sin, was published in 1993. That was followed by The Mask of Time (1994), A House Of Many Rooms (1999) and The Seventh Moon(2001).
He has also written two historical novels, The Testament Of Marcellus (2009) andGabon (2011).
He is currently working on a trilogy, following the lives of three sisters during World War II. The first volume, Weep No More, was completed in February 2014.
Marius Gabriel currently lives in London. He has three grown-up children.
Find out more at www.mariusgabriel.info Twitter @Scribbler4Bread