Rachel Donohue: The Temple House Vanishing

My review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review The Temple House Vanishing.

Blurb :

Power. Jealousy. Desire.

Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…

When Louisa arrives at Temple House, an elite catholic boarding school, she quickly finds herself drawn to sophisticated fellow pupil Victoria and their young bohemian art teacher, Mr Lavelle. The three of them form a bond that seems to offer an escape from the repressive regime of the nuns who run the cloistered school. Until Louisa and Mr Lavelle suddenly vanish.

Years later, a journalist with a childhood connection to Louisa determines to resolve the mystery. Her search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest.

The Temple House Vanishing is a stunning, intensely atmospheric novel of unrequited longing, dark obsession and unintended consequences.


Temple House School is the perfect setting for a brilliantly gothic novel in which many secrets are waiting to be uncovered. Rachel Donohue is an exceptionally talented writer and she transports the reader effortlessly to the school and involves them in its every day routines. I really wanted to know more about the school as the mystery gets deeper and deeper.

Donohue’s writing is beautiful and I often enjoyed her turn of phrase. This does mean that The Temple House Vanishing is something of a slow burn but this is no bad thing: it creates intrigue that kept me reading until the final page.

The three central characters, Louisa, Victoria and Mr Lavelle are not necessarily likeable but they are very mysterious and I did want to know more about them. This feeling was increased by the different narrators for each chapter as the reader gets to see different perspectives as the novel continues.

The Temple House Vanishing is available from Amazon.

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