Book Reviews

A House of Ghosts: A gripping murder mystery set in a haunted house by W. C. Ryan

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List Price: £12.99

 

Hardcover: 432 Pages.

Published: 04 October 2018 by Zaffre

ISBN: 1785766511

EAN: 9781785766510

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Well Constructed - Enjoyed It

It is 1917 and WWI is still at its peak. Some plans have been leaked to the Germans and a house party is set up to discover who has been doing this. Donovan and Kate Cartwright have been sent to Blackwater Abbey to take part in this weekend house party. Also there are two mediums, Lord Highmount and his wife, Kate's parents and a shell shocked private and his doctor. Oh........and a large number of ghosts!

To be totally fair this book is rather cliched but I loved it. It is mostly set on an isolated island where the main house is an ancient abbey. Predictably there is a storm so no one can get off and the phones are out. They are on their own with someone who is not adverse to a bit of violence! Yes, I've read this scenario before and I am sure you have too. However, it didn't actually stop my enjoyment of the book.

This is actually a clever and well written ghost story. Seances are held and voices from the dead come through. Various people can see the ghosts around the house including Kate. However the relationship with the people and the ghosts is done so very well - the ghosts are really quite benign.

I loved the characters - Kate a very independent woman for her day who copes daily with her ability (or disability) to see ghosts. Donovan is a wonderful hard-hitting rather stereotypical Irishman who is great fun and excellent in a crisis. The Highmounts and Cartwrights have lost people they love in the war and the author allows us beneath their facade of a stiff upper lip to see their desperation at loosing sons. The two mediums are also excellent - are they who they seem to be? Can they talk to the dead? I'll leave you to discover that.

This is a well written book with a great plot line and a slight twist at the end which surprised me. As ghost stories go I would say it leans slightly towards the "cosy"  as opposed to having a lot of suspense. There certainly is a lack of blood, guts and gore which pleased me as ghost stories should not be mistaken for horror stories.

I would be happy to seek out further books by this author especially if Kate and Donovan return!

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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