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3.8 out of 5 stars46
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 October 2013
I have been a fan of Jonathan Aycliffe for the last year or so. I have read a few of his ghost story novels and bought this one on Kindle as as soon as it was available. Like the previous reviewer (who also gave it 3 stars) I too felt the book had a strong beginning and middle but fizzled out somewhat and the ending felt rather rushed and under resolved. It felt all rather shortened and underexplained. There were some great moments and descriptions but the sum of the parts didn't make a wow ghostly read. The current day character of Charles Lancaster doesn't get developed and I felt there was more to say about his life afterwards. However the plot kept me reading and in particular Octavia's character was very endearing.
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on 9 November 2013
I have always loved Mr Aycliffe's ghost stories, they are truly chilling and sometimes uncomfortable! So when this new novel was announced I pre-ordered straight away and once it arrived I actually was in the process of reading another book, but put that one aside so I could get straight into this latest (and long overdue) Aycliffe book.

Unfortunately, although it does read at times like previous novels by the author, it comes across as an author who has run out of steam and ideas. I feel that everything supernatural is revealed too early on, and the main characters don't seem to be too bothered by what's happening, and in turn this makes the reader not too bothered about what's happening either!

After reading this I bought the re-issued copy of 'The Matrix' just to see if maybe my own tastes had changed, but I ploughed through that book and it still had the power to chill!

Actually in hindsight, Aycliffe's last book which I believe was 'A Garden Lost in Time' also lacked the scares of its predecessor's.

All in all though I still give this book three stars purely based on my love of the authors previous books and because he has another ghost story coming out in the near future which I hope will have the chill factor of the older books!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 9 August 2015
I’ve read a few of this author’s works over the years, and they’re always rather chilling and ghastly. In this book, we read the journal from 1940 of Dominic Lancaster, son of a well-to-do family, who is injured and loses a leg in the course of the Second World War and is invalided together with his deaf sister Octavia to a family home by the Lakes. There he strikes up a relationship with his nurse Rose, but their days start to be haunted by apparitions, apparently directing their energies through Octavia.

Although this is not a large book (a little over 200 pages) it does take a while to wind itself up to a level of menace and suspense. The first part of the book is largely place- and people-setting, but this is necessary to get the right tone for the book once the ‘spooky’ tone of the narrative starts.

This is a great read; another great spooky story by Aycliffe, which I read from beginning to end riveted to the story as it unfolded. Definitely recommended; if you enjoy a good spooky thriller then you will love this; if you haven’t read any by Aycliffe before I can thoroughly recommend his works, including Naomi’s Room, The Vanishment, and Whispers in the Dark.
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on 25 January 2014
This is the third of his books that I've read and have the same gripe about all of them...they all keep me hooked, reading late into the the night. The characters are on the whole believable, the plots, interesting, but all of them, towards the end of the book tend to fizzle out. This one in particular had me rereading the last couple of chapters to make sure I hadn't missed something. It's like he loses enthusiasm and interest at the end of the stories and throws the ending together to get it over with. I'm left with unanswered questions and loose ends that don't completely tie up, with that "eh? Is that it" feeling. In saying that, it's still well worth a read if you're a fan of this genre . Would advise reading this one first as it didn't match my expectations. the Matrix has a new take on an old story, while Naomi's Room was the first book in a while where the main character doesn't do what I expected
Download it/read it, it's still a good read
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on 20 October 2013
Jonathan Aycliffe has been one of the best English writers of recent years. 'The Lost' and 'The Matrix' number amongst some of my favourite (and most terrifying) ghost stories in my library, along with 'The Woman in Black' and 'The Little Hand' both by Susan Hill. However, this recent novel, though starting well, and having an okay middle, fizzles out at the end, with the natural horror of the story and the pent-up fear losing momentum before finally dying a quiet death in the final couple of pages. The ending is also unexpected, but for all the wrong reasons.

Sadly this kind of good beginning and middle, but poor ending, has become all too common a feature in British horror writing, both Susan Hill ('Dolly') and Adam Nevill ('House of Small Shadows') have written what on first reading were cracking good horror stories, until one got to the end and realised that the ending owed little to the rest of the novel. What pleased me about 'The Matrix' or 'Woman in Black' is that one is left with a sense of unresolved horror at the end, with this novel there's no such lack of resolution, or sense of disturbed peace.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 22 February 2014
I’ve read a few of this author’s works over the years, and they’re always rather chilling and ghastly. In this book, we read the journal from 1940 of Dominic Lancaster, son of a well-to-do family, who is injured and loses a leg in the course of the Second World War and is invalided together with his deaf sister Octavia to a family home by the Lakes. There he strikes up a relationship with his nurse Rose, but their days start to be haunted by apparitions, apparently directing their energies through Octavia.

Although this is not a large book (a little over 200 pages) it does take a while to wind itself up to a level of menace and suspense. The first part of the book is largely place- and people-setting, but this is necessary to get the right tone for the book once the ‘spooky’ tone of the narrative starts.

This is a great read; another great spooky story by Aycliffe, which I read from beginning to end riveted to the story as it unfolded. Definitely recommended; if you enjoy a good spooky thriller then you will love this; if you haven’t read any by Aycliffe before I can thoroughly recommend his works, including Naomi’s Room, The Vanishment, and Whispers in the Dark.
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on 20 January 2014
The book started out really well and had a gripping story line but as the book goes on it gets really dull and I found myself reading one chapter then reading another a few days later I was not really interested in the end. The ending of the book is a complete let down.
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on 3 February 2016
Well this is the third of Jonathan Aycliffe's books I've read and I won't be reading anymore I fear. He seems obsessed with old houses and hidden attics - it's almost formulaic. The Vanishment is in Cornwall, Naomi's Room in Cambridge, this one in the Lake district but it might as well be exactly the same house! And this touches Naomi's room again with its smartly dressed 'gentlemanly' ghost in the attic - but at least it wasn't as truly gruesome as Naomi's room!
Apart from that there are such careless mistakes. If a house has never been fitted with electricity or gas then why are there five electric heaters found on the first floor? A good editor would have picked up on that. And why are the bodies of the 'ghost children' still children? It was never suggested that they were ill-treated or wickedly done to death, it doesn't make sense.
No sorry, I wasn't highly impressed with his writing style anyway, but this, supposedly written as a wartime journal, is very poor. The description is flat; the hero is unlikeable, the nurse and the deaf child are reasonably well rounded but the other characters are very two dimensional and really, the parents of the supposed journal writer are completely unreal - they're like a necessary afterthought to give credence to this one legged man and his deaf little sister being marooned in a thoroughly inadequate house in the Lake District in the middle of the war!
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And what is lacking is the quality of `under your skin ness'; it just doesn't `cut the mustard' as far as being a good ghost story is concerned and I use a very good ghost story as my bench mark; i.e. Susan Hill's `The Woman in Black', in which the mounting feeling of malevolent forces at work is palpable. Basically, it's a nice story about a nice guy, with despicable parents and dubious ancestors, who does his bit in the war and meets a nice a girl with whom he falls in love. And I enjoyed reading it. A dark old country house is involved and the bit about them `living happily ever after' could, I suppose, be disputed. One of the plusses is his delightful little sister, Octavia.

I'm a big fan of Aycliffe's and the experience of reading an average novel will not deter me from reading more of his stuff: but I'd much rather read new good quality stuff than new average quality stuff or re-read older good quality stuff!
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on 24 July 2015
This is the second book I've read by Jonathan Aycliffe, I've also read Naomi's Room, and I felt both books were let down by their endings. There are some chilling ideas and descriptions in The Silence of Ghosts, and Octavia is a very interesting character, but the plot didn't go anywhere and I felt the ending very abrupt. And although it seemed to be set in the real world (i.e. not a world in which ghosts are known to be real) the characters did not seem surprised by the supernatural, reacting as they would to real horrors - being horrified by murder, for example - with no additional shock arising from the fact the horrors include ghosts. My other criticism is that the relationship between Dominic and Rose seemed too forced, made up for the sake of adding in a female main character.
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