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A Garden Lost in Time (A & B Crime) [Hardcover]

Jonathan Aycliffe
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 2004 A & B Crime
Cornwall, 1917. After the death of his father, fifteen-year-old Simon Lysaght is sent to live with his uncle, Sir David Trevelyan, at their estate house, Trevelyan Priors. His uncle is an imposing man and Simon feels ill at ease in this large and forbidding house. On his first day he discovers there have been a number of family suicides and his cousin William, who is crippled and bed-ridden, warns him never to wander the corridors after dark. While exploring the grounds after a day of heavy snow, Simon discovers a track of fresh footprints in an enclosed garden, long abandoned and overgrows. Who do they belong to, and how did they get there? Simon can see no answer, until one day weeks later when he encounters a girl of his own age in the garden. They strike up a friendship, but doubts remain in Simon's mind. And when he discovers a sinister secret in his uncle's library, Simon is soon to find that Trevelyan Priors and its inhabitants have much to hide and more to tell than he can guess.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (1 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749006870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749006877
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Aycliffe's writing style is simple and direct. He uses words surely and sparingly to sketch the outline of a ghost, allowing the reader's imagination to fill in the rest of the details. Depending on how active one's imagination is the result can be quite chilling." -- Deadly Pleasures

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale of secrets and shadows 10 Aug 2004
I love Jonathan Aycliffe's writing (and also when he writes as Daniel Easterman) so I was delighted to learn of this new novel and it didn't disappoint. The story is set mainly during the Great War and focuses on a large house, Trevelyan Priors, based in Cornwall. When fifteen year old (and sorry but I couldn't find any typo's anywhere which confused his age - he was always 15 in 1917) Simon is sent to live with his relatives at Trevelyan Priors he soon learns that the house is filled with dark shadows and memories from the past.
I particularly enjoyed Aycliffe's writing in this book. Although the book wasn't his scariest (but certainly still had its moments) I still found it extremely enjoyable due to his intense and beautifully written descriptions relating to the book's setting. The vivid depiction of the swans in the opening chapter instantly created a tone of anticipation and unease ('They were Mute Swans, white swimmers by day, ghosts crossing the air by night') which continued throughout the book. He created an extremely evocative image of exactly how life was like in this house and surrounding environment at the beginning of the 20th Century.
My only slight criticism would be that I thought there were points within the story which were left incomplete - for example, I felt that more could have been done with the character of the marquis. Although told how evil he was there was no particular confrontation with him and he seemed to creep silently out of the story. And I also felt that the relevance of the summer garden was slightly exaggerated as I never found out why this location was meant to be so haunted and out of bounds.

I agree that nothing could ever surpass the brilliant 'Naomi's Room' and if you haven't read this I urge you to do so, as it is truly the most terrifying book I have ever read, but I still feel that this book is worthy of a read and enjoyable in its own right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very scary but 7 July 2004
Having read other books by Jonathan Aycliffe I was looking forward to feeling my flesh creep! Sadly this didn't happen very much with this book.
The story is based in Cornwall during the First World War, with the main character "Simon" sent to live wih his Aunt and Uncle after the death of his father on the western front. Very soon, of course, everything is not as it seems and Simon is drawn to an abandoned but forbidden garden in the grounds of the house. The garden is supposed to be creepy, but I felt nothing of much significance happened here. In fact most of the "action" and mysterious deaths happened in other parts of the grounds and house itself.
There were also some contradictions in the writing. For example, in the first chapter the character "Tom" is aged 12 in 1915. Yet later in 1916 we are told Tom is now aged 15. Surely an editor should have picked this up!
Having said all this, the book did have its moments when "Aycliffe's" old form shone through, and I still found it enjoyable.
In my opinion....worth a look!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a best??? 31 July 2008
This is my favourite book by Mr Aycliffe though I'll admit I havent yet read Naomis Room which by all accounts seems to be a favourite amongst his fans. Not much point going into the plot but just to say how much i liked the characters and how believable they all are. Devil worshippers, ghosts,hidden rooms containing ancient manuscripts etc..Sex even!! There are plenty of the usual chills and i have to admit to having a lump in my throat at the ending. Much more than just a "horror" book i think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 12 Jun 2014
By Leamjem
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you like ghost stores then you need to read Jonathan Aycliffe, brilliant writer and when he writes under the name of Daniel Easterman, although they are not ghost stories. Just an all round great author.
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