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Publisher's Summary

Psychic Surveys: Book 1: The Haunting of Highdown Hall

"Good morning, Psychic Surveys. How can I help?"

The latest in a long line of psychically-gifted females, Ruby Davis can see through the veil that separates this world and the next, helping grounded souls to move towards the light - or 'home', as Ruby calls it. Not just a job for Ruby, it's a crusade and one she wants to bring to the High Street. Psychic Surveys is born.

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Ruby and her team of freelance psychics have been kept busy. Specializing in domestic cases, their solid reputation is spreading - it's not just the dead that can rest in peace but the living too. All is threatened when Ruby receives a call from the irate new owner of Highdown Hall. Film star Cynthia Hart is still in residence, despite having died in 1958.

Winter deepens and so does the mystery surrounding Cynthia. She insists the devil is blocking her path to the light long after Psychic Surveys have 'disproved' it. Investigating her apparently unblemished background, Ruby is pulled further and further into Cynthia's world and the darkness that now inhabits it.

©2014 Crooked Cat Publishing (P)2017 Shani Struthers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    12
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    7
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Performance

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    17
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    7
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Get on with it

This book seemed to drag on in places. It is a good book and one of the type that I love. I do plan on reading the next books in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good but...

Slow and non-compelling. No build. Drones on and on. Good character development. Characters believable.

The author: blames women for the behavior of sexual predators. She obviously does not understand this disease of the mind. Some people are just born sick. Did not appreciate the objectification of women or the unrealistic perception of the world. Disturbing and dismissive about sexual harassment/assault to include date rape and drugging women to rape them. Not graphic...just dismissive and almost seeks to normalize these topics, and garner sympathy for the predators.

The narrator: great but has a slight speech impediment. “R’s” are replaced by “w’s” frequently (thwee instead of three, worwy instead of worry, verwy instead of very, bawwier instead of barrier....ughhhhh). Listen to British narrators often and have never encountered this before.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

I loved every minute! wonderful narrator, intriguing characters and Jed the ghost dog. Absolutely perfect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Ghost story

I really enjoyed this ghost story. Sheila Dearden has done an awesome job with the narration. With her accent I was drawn in. I loved the character voices she used. I could feel the emotion coming from her voice.

This was my first Shani Struthers book but will not be my last. I have already added a few more of her books to my wish list.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great cast of characters I

I truly enjoyed this book! it's fun to listen to and made me happy. it kept me interested without being too generic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A different kind of ghost story

At first I was a little skeptical, even after reading some of the positive reviews. I'm more of a gothic ghost story fan, but this was a very good book for me. I enjoyed the woman's voice, and I enjoyed the story .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Well-written and well-performed. This book was not scary, but it has memorable characters and an interesting storyline. I want to read more like this!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting!!

The story was fascinating!!! Thrills and chills all in one! Definite recommendation for this one!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

entertaining

Though I don't agree with the philosophy of this book I did find the storyline very good. enjoyed the characters, the narration was great.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

This book was awesome! My only complaint is that there was too much time spent on describing daily life, descriptions of bars, etc. The book would have been much better without all those distractions. I especially loved how you got to see parts of Cynthia's life. I hope there is going to be a sequel because I really enjoyed this book and all the characters.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-18

A n Entertaining Story

I really enjoyed listening to the book. Ruby is an interesting lead character and her growing relationship with Cash is well handled. A very down-to-earth setting and Shani has made the ghostly appearances seem totally plausible. Great humour and fun to listen to. Not scary.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarahjk79
  • 10-20-17

Wow....just Wow!

I hadn’t read this book, so I was extremely excited about listening to it. I wasn’t disappointed!
We are introduced to the team at psychic surveys. People, each with a unique gift that they put to good use by helping spirits move on. Find out what is holding them back and guiding them towards the light.
I like that as the main storyline unfolds, we are still given insights and backgrounds into each member of the team. It made me feel more of a connection to and empathy with the characters. They are so well written and with a good depth of personality you can’t help but feel as if you know them already. As a reader I found I was mentally urging them forwards and wanting them to do well and get to the bottom of the current case. (Although, I did feel like the person wanting his house cleansed actually maybe deserved a bit of haunting...)
The main story takes place around the Haunting of Highdown Hall (stating the obvious). Cynthia, an award winning actress in the sixties had her life cut tragically short at the age of 31. Not quite understanding what happened and afraid of the shadow lurking in the darkness, Cynthia is trapped. 54 years after her death, the current owner of Highdown Hall has had enough. He wants his house back. Calling in the psychic surveys team, he demands they get rid of her. He has no time or patience for this nonsense ( you see why I personally think he deserves a bit of a haunting).
They take on the case and with it uncover a tale of tragedy, love & heartbreak. Discovering long buried secrets that hold the key to allow Cynthia to finally move on, will it work? Can they prove it to her after so long? And who IS the shadow hiding in the darkness?
A fabulously written novel, that has everything you could want. Lovely characters that leave you wanting more, to get to know them better. A storyline that is full of surprises and a writing style that is flowing and engaging. Filled with emotion & it’s own sense of humour,it’s a book I’d highly recommend. The narrator does it justice and more importantly is a voice you can listen too. I already have the second book in the series, which I am now going off to listen too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • m mackfall
  • 01-05-18

brilliant

loved this story. it was easy listening with a good tale to tell well recommended

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-14-17

Brilliant

I loved this story from start to finish. A story that was packed with one main ghost but lots of small ones and it all flowed foward to a great ending i didnt was it to end. I fell in love with Ruby she is so caring.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lorraine G.
  • 08-12-17

Great

I have read this as an e book and really enjoyed it as with all the books In this series. The Audio book is also great and I listened to it in 2 days, the narrator has a lovely voice and did a grand job. Definitely recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisette matthews
  • 08-19-17

The haunting of high down hall

This was fantastic a story about an actress who wouldn't leave her room and wouldn't let anyone in

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 03-31-18

Archaic tosh

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently terrible about a tale that is lighter than air and is blown from the memory with the merest puff of the everyday trivia that makes up life, such as the fact that the bin men are late, again. However, there should be some kind of warning system for a discerning purchaser, in this case those that are literate, that one is buying from the Ladybird end of the literary canon. This text is not far from, 'See Spot run.'.

The plot is thin and the reader is effortfully drawn down into uninteresting culture-de-sacs littered with irrelevant character background. The characterisation used cliched and, frankly, tired tropes and the dialogue is spattered with casual sexism.

I think it was the patronising assumption that Ms Struthers' reader would buy into her fetid world of gender stereotypes that really got up my nose. The fact that the protagonist, Ruby, runs her own company but is absolutely fine with falling for a man who is not comfortable with her fulfilling her role as managing director unless he polices her - this is called giving her his 'protection', or insisting on her accounting for her whereabouts or accepting his permission for doing her job. The reader is supposed to be fine with the fact that he naturally knows her limitations more than her.

Surely, we're not okay with this archaic tosh, are we?

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-29-18

a good enjoyable quiet listen

enjoyed this a none horrific but interesting take on a ghost story. reminiscent of Jodi Taylor st marys series.
pleased I found it.
I needed to speed the narration up very slightly but otherwise a good start to a series.
I would recommend it and intend to get the next in series.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne
  • 07-29-18

Plodding - not thrilling!

I listened to this book in its entirety whilst cooking and cycling to and from work, but wow did it drag. The whole book is saccharine - everything is about light and love and although the main character doesn't want to come across as too "spiritual" in her website, that's exactly what this book captures: the worst stereotypes of the new age and spiritual movements.

For some reason, the author felt compelled to tell us about incredibly boring aspects of the main character's life - clothes, coffee, television preferences - and none of these added anything to the story or any depth to the character, either. The writing felt like a teenager's attempt to write an overly long essay - lots of "he expelled, she pondered, he commented, she exclaimed" - and I constantly felt as if the author had written the book with a thesaurus to hand, to find alternative ways of saying something simple;

As for the characters, only the ghost dog and one of the psychics, Theo, held any interest for me.

The story itself wasn't bad, but the execution wasn't for me.

I'm sad to say that the narration didn't appeal to me either. It was rather slow and lacking in emotion, and the accents fell flat for me.

Overall, not terrible if you need some background noise, but if you want a stimulating read /listen, this book isn't what I'd recommend.