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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradox from history beautifully crafted
Once freed from a vile debtor's prison Captain Sparrowhawk of the 16th Light Dragoons had to pay for his freedom with a strange guarding mission. Four aspects of Paul Finch's novella drew me in: authenticity of geography and history; the exquisite writing style; personal coincidences; and most of all the grim storyline fascination of apparitional ghouls from the past, and...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an OK ghost story
This novelette will take you about three hours to read. It is set in London in the mid 1800's where an ex soldier is released from a debtors prison by a woman who needs a soldier to protect someone. Demons abound in this well crafted story. Not a bad read.
Published 20 months ago by TVR-Andy


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradox from history beautifully crafted, 19 Dec 2011
This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
Once freed from a vile debtor's prison Captain Sparrowhawk of the 16th Light Dragoons had to pay for his freedom with a strange guarding mission. Four aspects of Paul Finch's novella drew me in: authenticity of geography and history; the exquisite writing style; personal coincidences; and most of all the grim storyline fascination of apparitional ghouls from the past, and the satisfaction of finally solving the puzzle.

1843 was an interesting time in England for social contrasts and political awakening. Add this to one of the coldest winters on record and we have terrific conflict and tension. As a climatologist I know about that winter, so I was mightily impressed by the research Finch did to make the narrative real. Same with other details. He refers to toppers. My granddad was nicknamed Topper because he regularly wore one at the weekends and as a joke in the pub even though he had risen no further than master plasterer as an artisan. Later in the story, our hero was battling suicidal odds in Afghanistan (so topical). My other granddad was wounded there during the third Anglo-Afghan war in the 1920s. How did Finch know my family connections so well - hah.

Sparrowhawk is paid and instructed by the enigmatic and beautiful Mss Evangeline, who knows an uncomfortable amount of information about him. She is the key to the puzzle in this story and turns the lock iteratively with each chapter. Clever.
Also smart is the writing. Just listen to this description of Angus. `Here, an attendant was waiting, a big, raw-boned fellow with thick, red whispers and braces over his linen undershirt. The tattoos on his brawny arms indicated a military background. When he spoke, it was with a Highlands accent.' You are there with Sparrowhawk. Not only is there superb Show (as writers and editors urge on their writers) but the language is of the 1840s. We have costermongers -street sellers, `haranguing the public from their barrows, selling everything from eel soup to pigs' trotters, from lemonade to kitchen grease, from frogs, lizards and snails to rare and exotic birds, most of which would be sparrows and finches done up with colourful paint.' Finch's research is beautifully revealed in words such as that lovely harridan and breveted, right down to knowing popular tunes of the day as constables would whistle In Dulci Jubilo on their beat. Trust Finch to be aware, unlike Hollywood directors that you don't fire guns from the same place twice. I think Paul Finch must have been in the SAS, and have a time machine.
Sparrowhawk questions the veracity of what he experiences, but his brought-to-life father denies him a right to question it and to face the existing reality. Interesting philosophical stance, but it is whimsical and the probable hallucination vanishes, yet stays as a torment.

Some readers may feel that some of the narrative detail is infodump eg about the Peterloo massacre of 1819 but it is well done, and relevant to the plot. It is forgiven when a man-lion creature is described inside the terror, as having eyes that are `pits of molten gold' - I wish I'd written that.

This novella is unmissable for any aficionado of ghost, horror, and historical fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give your self time to read this, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
Give your self time to read this because the story is so good it will not let you put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read!, 18 Sep 2013
By 
Mrs. Nuala Wainwright "nanny noodles" (dublin, ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
I did enjoy this book. Of its kind, it made good reading but I would have enjoyed it better if the author had gone the whole hog and made it into a full-size book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expertly written, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
This is my second book by this author. Therefore it was not quite what I was expecting. However it was expertly written set in Victorian London. Great characters, the story all the way through resembled another famous story and this ties in well with the ending. Not my usual read but I am glad I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sparrowhawk, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
This story got off to a very intriguing start, but I was a a little disappointed in the ending. I felt it wasn't up to the rest of the story, but was more of an easy way out. I would read more of his stories though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars jumpy, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
very good going through all Paul Finch books at moment this war book Afgan nearly gives a good reason for out troops not to be there
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read, 8 May 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
Recently read this book and enjoyed every minute. As at writer Paul Finch keeps the reader glued throughout, so much so that i have purchased more of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an OK ghost story, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
This novelette will take you about three hours to read. It is set in London in the mid 1800's where an ex soldier is released from a debtors prison by a woman who needs a soldier to protect someone. Demons abound in this well crafted story. Not a bad read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Past, 31 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
Had seen quite a few negative reviews about the authors work, but decided to download a book to make up my own mind. I enjoyed Sparrowhawk and although he wasn't a very nice guy (if you enjoy romances) he did show some compassion, which didn't make him all bad. Would definitely like to see more of him in future!!!! Because of the content of the book I kinda knew where it was heading, but still kept me galloping to the end. Obviously picked a winner, cos I will be downloading more of his books....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 26 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Sparrowhawk (a victorian ghost story) (Kindle Edition)
I have really enjoyed reading this book. I will look to see what other novels the author has to offer.
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