A thrilling debut in women’s suspense - a ghost story set in 1920s England...
Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary-work agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis - rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts - has been summoned to investigate the spirit of 19-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who haunts the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a desperate struggle, for Maddy’s ghost is real, she is angry, and she has powers that defy all reason.
Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough and unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance before she destroys them all?
Simone St. James lives just outside Toronto, Canada, where she works behind the scenes in the television business. She is also the author of An Inquiry into Love and Death.
©2012 Simone Seguin (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A compelling read. With a strong setting, vivid supporting characters, and sympathetic protagonists, the book is a wonderful blend of romance, mystery, and pure creepiness. Simone St. James is a talent to watch." (Anne Stuart, New York Times best-selling author)
"A novel of chilling romantic suspense that evokes the lost era between the world wars that so wounded the lives of the young men and women of England and adds to the mix an inevitably dark, gothic ghost story. Read it with the lights on. Simply spellbinding." (Susanna Kearsley, New York Times best-selling author)
"A compelling ghost story, the book is written quite beautifully, weaving elements of romance and mystery with a gothic twist.… Offering a glimpse of life in England between world wars as the twentysomething ghost investigators stay at a country inn, the book proves a satisfying, chilling read." (VOYA)
The premise of the story was captivating for my pre-Halloween ghost read. The problem was that the characters never developed into characters I cared about. Gratuitous sex scenes between, practically, strangers added nothing to the storyline. I didn't feel any connection to the maudlin characters. There are better books to spend precious time enjoying. This book I was glad when it ended. This book wasn't a good choice for me. Maybe, I'm too much drawn to characters over storyline. The storyline was interesting but the characters weren't.
I thought maybe the reviewers here might have been too critical on the reader's delivery of the male voice, so I gave it a chance and got the audiobook because I liked how it was written. The protagonist female character had nice delivery, but, yes, her voice for the male protagonist is not appealing at all. It was very sharp and critical and pretentious-sounding. Not the kind of character male voice that you'd warm up to. Though that voice suited the employment agent that called to offer her work, it doesn't suit the male lead at all. It was just too sharp and quick delivery of the words and it made him sound like one of those rich aristocrats with their up-turned noses. If it was, instead, a female character used for that delivery, it would be equivalent to an old, very stern-sounding woman.
I don't understand how she can do the female voice so well and totally botch up the male lead. Well, I'll keep listening to the audiobook since I own it now....hopefully I'll grow out of the annoyance....I'll update my review of the story later....
I am now a fan of Simone St.James. This book had romance, intrigue, and spine tingling horror. I actually got scared listening to this audio book. For those who use audio books, the narrator was excellent. The voice was pleasing and perfect for the type of book.
The story is a gothic style ghost story set in England in the 1920's. I'm starting to love all stories from the 1920's. The author sets the scenes perfectly to give her readers a sense of time and space.
One character in the book - Alistair writes about ghost phenomena and he needs a female assistant to commune with a reported ghost who is named Maddy Clare. Alistair hires the book's main character, Sarah, from a temporary agency in London. Sarah is happy to leave her dreary life in her dark room in the city if only for a brief time. Sarah soon discovers that she is very sensitive to ghosts and may be in over her head. She meets Alistair's usual assistant, Matthew Ryder, and the two have a spark of attraction from the very beginning.
The author creates a gothic suspense that entranced this reader. I enjoyed the romance in the story, as well. Wow! I can't wait for more from this author.
I would recommend this book to those who love a gothic tale with some romance. Beware....this books has some scary parts that will give you goosebumps!
This book was fun to read, even though I could see what was coming from the three quarter point, I still enjoyed going along for the ride.
I liked the narrator, who was very expressive and stayed in character well.
I would definitely recommend this to people who like paranormal romances.
It seems good ghost stories or stories about haunting are coming harder to come by. I looked at the reviews on Amazon for this book and it seemed promising. The story itself was good, but what went down hill for me were two things; right off the bat the reader distracted me from the story because although she read ok, I couldn't get past her voice being obviously a quite older woman trying to perform the main character of a young woman in her twenties. She also made the two main male characters sound awful. This was very distracting to me. The detailed sex scenes were, in my opinion, also quite distracting from the main plot and seemed unnecessary. It was enough to know so-and-so had slept with so-and-so without the play by play, nitty gritty details. I found this to be a sad distraction from an otherwise decent story although I forced myself to finish it.
The plot in the book was good and the characters were strong and well-developed. I would take a look at another book by the author as long as it was not the same narrator.
One of the most memorable points in the book was when Sarah first went in the barn to meet Maddie. The tension builds from the moment she first hears the footsteps to the point where she finds the fire surrounding her. First contact !!
I found the narrators voice to be plodding and monotone. The result was that this book that should have left you sitting on the edge of your seat really ended up putting you in a comfy armchair with a cup of tea to keep you awake
I found this to be a hard book to listen to, yet not a book I could walk away from, either. Was it because I had just recently read a rather silly book on haunted Eastern Shore properties, where no attempt was made to beguile the reader into actually believing things were going "bump" in the night? Maddy was portrayed as very real, and worse yet, appearing to different people in different guises. Maybe the twisted feeling I had in my stomach was the precursor to her moving from my iPod into me! Best read on a dark and stormy night....
The narration of Pamela Garelick was spot on.
I was alone in a strange town in a hotel room when I started to listen to the tale of the haunting of Maddy Clare read by Pamela Garelick and I found myself falling into a mesmerizing and complex ghost story, The tale is an old one of a ghost seeking justice - but Pamela Garelick's performance brought out the heart stopping terror of the ghost of Maddy Clare. Maddy is not a kind and friendly ghost, she is complex and full of anger and demands. So, turn down the lights, light the fire and enjoy a traditional haunting Gothic ghost story.
Yes. This was a great book to listen to while I re-organized my kitchen cupboards. It's under ten hours and made the time fly by.
When the narrator is first haunted by Maddy. Fantastic writing!
No. I agree that Pamela's voice is a bit deep for a twenty year old, but it didn't bother me one bit. She's very talented and I enjoyed listening to her performance. I would gladly listen to her again.
The book didn't move me, but it certainly entertained.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Sometimes you just need to read for fun! This book is a great old fashioned ghost story with some 1920's ghost hunters thrown in.
It's the story of a girl who shows up dirty and disheveled and unable to talk at a farmer's door. They take her in and a few years later she hangs herself in the barn. Her ghost now haunts the barn and the ghost hunters are called in.
Alistair is a shell shocked Great War Veteran who has lots of money and nothing to do but research ghosts. He hires Sarah, a recent orphan who is working for a temporary agency, to be an assistant for a week at the haunting. Matthew is his other assistant, a badly burned veteran who can't sleep without having nightmares of the war. These three pledge to document and help Maddy Clare find peace.
This is a scary at times book with a love story thrown in for good measure. It was a quick listen and a really fun book. The characters are well drawn and the narrator does a fine job.
I will read more of Simone St. James.
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