A House of Ghosts ~ ‘In a house of ghosts, the living await their certain fate…’
A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan (pseudonym for William Ryan) is the perfect cosy classic mystery and is due for publication with Bonnier Zaffre on October 4th.
Described as ‘gripping and atmospheric’, it is a book that draws the reader slowly into the story as the pages almost turn themselves.
I really enjoyed this book…and THAT cover 🙂
Please do read on for my thoughts..
About the Book:
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.
When a book arrives at your door with a cover that is just so incredibly stunning there is always trepidation when you open to the first page to begin reading. But I have read The Constant Soldier by William Ryan, so felt complete confidence that A House of Ghosts would live up to my expectations….and it did.
Blackwater Abbey, on a secluded island off the Devon coast, is the home of the Highmount family. The First World War is raging on and death has knocked on the door of many families, including the Highmounts. Lord Highmount and his wife are stricken with the news they have lost both of their sons and look to the assistance of mediums to make contact with their boys. They invite a select few to their home for a spiritualist get-together but from the opening pages it is very evident that all is not as it appears.
Blackwater Abbey is a place that has a very interesting history with it’s walls carrying many secrets. It has been the resting place for many a poor soul over the years, leaving the residents always a little alert and wary to a presence. As the guests arrive, including our two main protagonists, Kate and Donovan, we are given a little insight into the alternative activities that will be ensuing over the few days.
I tweeted that I was waiting for Mrs Peacock and Col Mustard to make an appearance in this book and to anyone, like me, who grew up playing Cluedo you will understand what I mean!
A House of Ghosts is a classic mystery that wraps it’s tentacles around you as you get deeper into the story. Every scene is worthy of an instrumental accompaniment, as you journey through the dark corridors of Blackwater Abbey. Every character makes an appropriate entrance, with your imagination sent into overdrive, as you conjure up their physical appearance in your mind.
Blackwater Island is a bleak and remote place, completely dependent on the one boat to transport all its guests. As the weather takes a turn for the worst and a darkening storm encroaches the island, the atmosphere is palpable. Things go bump in the night and lots of strange happenings take place as the abbey slowly unveils it’s secrets.
A House of Ghosts is a novel that delights in so many ways. The setting is just superb and the characters are all so accurately portrayed. I do NOT do horror so the haunting element to this tale was just perfectly pitched to my taste. With a very intelligent plot and lots of mysterious goings-on thrown into the mix, A House of Ghosts, is an engrossing tale that I quite simply, just thoroughly, enjoyed.
Mysterious. Captivating. Entertaining.
Purchase Link ~ A House of Ghosts
William Ryan is the Irish author of five novels, including the Captain Korolev series set in 1930s Moscow. They have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Irish Fiction Award, the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, the Endeavour Historical Gold Crown and the Crime Writer Association’s Steel, Historical and New Blood Daggers.
His latest novel, A House of Ghosts, set in 1917, has been described as ‘an atmospheric, hugely entertaining mystery that offers all the pleasures of a classic ghost story – with an appealing dash of romance’.
William lives in London with his wife and son and is a licensed mudlarker and keen cyclist. Not both at the same time.
Website ~ https://www.william-ryan.com/
Twitter ~ @WilliamRyan_