This review is for the audiobook version of Haunt Me Still, by Jennifer Lee Carrell, narrated by Katherine Kellgren.
If you aren’t a fan of Shakespeare or worried about historical accuracy but are looking for a rolling adventure story, this is the book for you. If, however, you like Shakespeare and have any kind of background understanding of the Tudor period, you probably won’t like it much. The adventure runs along, barely stopping for a breath, across oceans and centuries, with lives depending on an improbably young Shakespeare expert turned director finding the manuscript of an older version of Macbeth. This isn’t the first time Kate Stanley has been involved in a dangerous adventure resulting in the discovery of a previously unknown Shakespeare manuscript, as this book is a sequel to a book I’d forgotten I’d read until I was a couple of chapters in.
The author bounces between a modern mystery and a fictional Tudor duchess, supposedly the inspiration for Lady Macbeth. There’s a lot of witchcraft and conjuring, with both modern pagans and historical mages. Poor John Dee, once again the subject of speculation, this time accusing Shakespeare of possessing a spirit that wrote for him, of stealing rites from a Scottish witch, and conjuring on stage. In the now, a killer attempting to conjure the same spirit of genius commits murder, kidnapping, theft, all in pursuit of a copy of Macbeth containing a spell. There are some interesting ideas here, especially about theaters being built in the round so as to be places of power, early dramas as religious rites, and discussions of what genius means, but most of it is lost in the Dan Brownness of the plot.