This Classic Gothic Novel Will Chill You to Your Core

For a quarter of a century, the horrors at Owl Manor have been buried under dust and decay, forgotten and unheard.

Then Dolores hears the whispers.

Dolores, a young artist, feels the pain all around her. It is the subject of her paintings. Strangely, once the pain is on her canvas, it diminishes.

A fated encounter takes her and her two best friends to Owl Manor in the Rocky Mountains. Ignoring the rumors of a gruesome past and ghosts, they take up residence. What’s the worst that could happen?

But it is the past that has summoned Dolores.

The owls begin to circle the sky again. The whispers get louder, seeping into each of their souls. And Dolores, besieged by the pain of brutal murders in the manor’s history, has no choice but to paint.

For the lives of those close to her hang in the balance.

Inspired by authors like Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven), Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), and Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), Owl Manor – the Final Stroke is the third and final book in the Owl Manor trilogy of Gothic Suspense novels. It follows Owl Manor – the Dawning and Owl Manor – Abigail.

Goodreads Synopsis

Overall Rating


Spooky Rating


Quick Take

Owl Manor – The Final Stroke by Zita Harrison reads like some of the great gothic novels – think Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, or Frankenstein. The story is haunting, and the prose is beautiful. If you are a fan of gothic literature, you will not want to miss this one.

Tell Me More

Owl Manor – The Final Stroke by Zita Harrison is one of the most original novels that I have read. I read a lot of horror and gothic novels, and sometimes it feels like the stories begin to feel very similar. But this was not the case with Owl Manor – The Final Stroke. Harrison’s imagination is vibrant and enchanting, and I found myself getting stuck in her beautiful novel.

The novel follows Dolores, a painter who can feel the pain around her. She paints using the pain that she experiences as a way to release it. Soon she finds the opportunity to go to Owl Manor with her two best friends, but the trio ignore the fact that the manor has a gruesome history, and they take up residence there. Unfortunately, whispers begin to terrorize the trio and Dolores begins to feel intense pain because of the murders that occurred in Owl Manor.

Harrison’s poetic writing keeps you hooked within the first few chapters of the novel. I was fascinated by Dolores’ ability to feel the pain of others and express it through her art, and that kept me entranced. I am a big fan of classic gothic literature, and reading this novel felt like returning to Shirley Jackson’s writing. Owl Manor itself was especially eerie, and I was engrossed by Dolores’ ability to feel the pain associated with the murders in the manor’s past. The novel reads like a suspenseful mystery, but it does have elements of supernatural horror that make the reader uneasy. It is a perfect horror novel for those who like haunted houses and ghosts, without too much terror. I loved the creepy coziness of it.

Even though this is the third book in the Owl Manor trilogy it reads like a standalone, and I am looking forward to reading the other books in the trilogy. Harrison’s imagination and poetic prose make this a five-star read, and it is a hidden gem you simply must check out. If you are a fan of gothic literature, you may have just found your new favorite author.

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