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Three Winter Ghosts [Kindle Edition]

Gary Sargent
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

‘“ …My ghost was a remnant of the girl I knew, a dark winter thing from a folk tale, a bit of sharpened will powered by hatred…”
Noble’s eyes glittered with vapid life as he took us in-
“Think on this, Doctor Jardine, because this is the essence of all good ghost stories. Soon I will die, and after it has happened I will do everything, everything in my power to come back. For you… ”’

When dying academic Morris Noble tells one last ghost story at a gathering in his Oxford college it is received politely as entertainment, an anachronism in an age of smart phones and instant worldwide communication.
But as the days grow shorter between Halloween and Christmas, and winter closes in on Oxford, two of his audience discover that his story was a confession, and for them at least, his words have an appalling relevance.

Three Winter Ghosts is the perfect supernatural tale for a winter’s evening - long enough to involve (and unsettle), but short enough to read in one or two sittings.
Curl up by the fire, and enjoy.

Product Description

About the Author

Gary Sargent was born in Essex and educated at the universities of Wales and Oxford. He lives with his wife and daughter just outside the city of Oxford, UK. Though he has lived there for over twenty years, he does not think that he has met a ghost in the aging city, but sometimes it’s difficult to tell. He is also the author of The Ofsted Murders, and can be contacted at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2231 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: TenPenny Publications (6 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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 He's here, oh God he's here! 15 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To be honest it took me a while to get into this book, odd as it is only 137 pages but I'm glad I stuck with it.
The start is reminiscent of M R James with an Oxford lecturer telling his largely disbelieving audience about the sad decline of the ghost story as technology has largely taken the mystery element away, however he tells them of his experience with a ghost in Chile and the fatal impact it had on his later life.
This brief part did not really grab me but it's mainly setting the scene for the main act.
When he dies two of his mocking colleagues find that there was more than an element of truth to the old man's tale and when the old man dies and the cold winter nights draw in they slowly start to experience the terror he described as something largely unseen is after them and as in most good ghost stories there is a real sense of hopelessness and foreboding.
It's nicely creepy with an extra twist or two at the end and just the sort of tale to read on a cold winter night.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little read 21 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It has been a long time since I visited this type of genre but this has definitely wetted my appetite for more. Great ghost story and you quickly get to know the main characters. Nice creepy build up to a somewhat abrupt and unexpected end - which did leave me wanting more. However, at 148 pages, there is only so much scope.
So, not a huge read but enough to see you over 2 - 3 nights if, like me, you only read in bed. Will definitely read more by this author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this because I read The Ofsted Murders and liked that. They are very different, though both set in/around Oxford, which is what caught my attention. This is much darker. However, I like a good shudder and this did it for me. It comes on a bit M R James- colleges with creepy academics and suchlike, but the resemblance quickly fades. It has a nice sense of inevitability which is essential for a good ghost story, and the spooks seem to come out of the winter landscape, which is very effective. Be warned - don't read it if your house has gurgly pipes or the central heating makes noises in the middle of the night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided ghosts 16 Nov. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best thing about this book is the exceptional ability to create atmosphere. I read it on a damp, cold, foggy November day and realised I had chosen the perfect time to read it. The tale begins traditionally, with a group of Oxford academics gathered in the common room talking about ghost stories. Eventually, one of the party tells one of his own. Here, the author endeavours to follow in the traditions of M R James or Susan Hill and, with his evocation of imagery and the building of a sense of menace, largely succeeds. The sensation of unease and fear creeps up, gathers momentum and everything is cold, cold, cold. I felt colder and colder reading the book. So why two stars? I just didn’t like the hauntings and I really did not like the ending. Our narrator Jack tells us something about himself, but not very much, so we don’t really get to know him. At the beginning of the book, Morris Noble talks about an incident from his past in the 1970s that drives the story, but why was he haunted? I am not sure what he had done that was so terribly wrong to deserve it. The same with Peter Jardine; I thought the punishment outweighed the crime, which after all was only taking the mickey, wasn’t it? As with many of Susan Hill’s tales, this story had spiteful ghosts haunting relatively innocent people and for me this type of ghost story just doesn’t work as I don’t see the point.

Throughout Jack’s narrative, we are also unsure whether he is really being haunted or if he is going mad; a tactic employed by James and which has been used in The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which I recently read. The story is kept moving, but in some places lacks depth, in others the descriptions are very effective.

The ending was very confused and abrupt.
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By still searching TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wanted so much to like this book and for a while I did. In fact, I more than liked it for the first third. It very definitely did have the M. R. James feel and I became quite excited at having discovered a new author I could trust! I suppose that sounds a bit extreme but I think some will understand what I mean.

It is very well written: in terms of prose style I can’t fault it. However, once the superbly written set up is over the implications aren’t, unfortunately, handled with as much assurance. I never felt fully convinced by the protagonists growing sense of terror and, as some other reviewers have said, all in all, he and the other characters in the story seem rather half hearted in terms of emotional depth and this makes it more difficult to empathize with them.

Another problem is that it doesn’t really know what type of story it wants to be: we start off in good ghost story territory; Oxford dons, Gothic architecture and Christmas in the offing; only for it to veer off towards the end into bog standard serial killer country!

The novelette also has echoes of another modern ‘Jamesian’ story; ‘The Matrix’, by Jonathan Aycliffe in which, although of novel length, the author manages to gradually build and then maintain a truly unsettling undercurrent of dread. By comparison Three Winter Ghosts does suffer, but I hope Sargent perseveres because I think there may be true talent there!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely scary and original tale ...
Writing a ghost story is a tricky balance between plot, pacing and style. Very few writers hit that balance with every story, even the greatest, but this writer comes very close. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Milena
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive short novella.
An atmospheric and original novella that combines the "traditional" and "new" in an impressive way. The opening section is beautifully written and highly evocative in its Jamesian... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Adrian Drew
4.0 out of 5 stars I like reading ghost stories around Christmas time
I like reading ghost stories around Christmas time, so I settled down to this in between turkey and mince pies! It was an unusual read and very creepy, overall quite entertaining. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars perfect spooky treat
A well written and truly creepy tale with lots of atmospheric detail. An unexpected treat - will look out for more of the author's work.
Published 2 months ago by W. Tyrrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very well written and decidedly spooky.
Published 2 months ago by Deborah Chetwood
3.0 out of 5 stars An ingenious tale but a little over written so the ...
An ingenious tale but a little over written so the tension dropped from time to timr.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. A. Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This was recommended to me and I enjoyed it. It is slight and took only two evenings to read but it has a beginning a middle and a proper, if sudden, ending with a twist that I did... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fran Herron
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought and began reading with great anticipation, parts of the book I...
Bought and began reading with great anticipation , parts of the book I really enjoyed , other parts just didn't do it for me . Enjoyable read but couldn't really recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by grannyannie
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Thought this book was totally boring and gave up in the end after page 30
Published 3 months ago by Dreamcatcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writer with a very original tale
Excellent writer with a very original tale. Apart from thinking-up a very chilling tale, he perfectly captures the growing feeling of unease which slowly becomes a very real dread. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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