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Haunted
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Price:£2.68

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2012
I received an Advance Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I had already read Maria Savva's Coincidences, a family drama, which I loved and gave 5 stars, so I was keen to read Haunted. I was a bit worried it would be a horror, as I am quite squeamish, but I need not have worried. The subject matter is very dark, and the author manages to make the reader feel sympathy for the protagonist, Nigel, when I wouldn't have thought this was possible, given the nature of his crime. The novel shows how Nigel is persecuted by his memories and how they never leave him for a moment. He becomes obsessed and the events of one evening have a destructive impact his entire life for decades. No matter how he tries to justify to himself what he has done, he can't. He feels certain everyone knows and becomes paranoid. The author kept us guessing right up until the end,and I didn't get it right! Is he losing his mind? Has the trauma from decades ago ruined his mind altogether? What in his life is real. The novel also charts the relationships between Nigel and his family and the destructive influence it has on him and them. The arrival of a young temp who comes to work in his firm in a department he didn't know existed, unbalances Nigel and the fine line between reality and his imagination running wild is very difficult to discern.
Not a novel I would normally have read, but Maria Savva has a gift for crossing genres and addressing difficult topics. She seemed to really get inside Nigel's traumatic psyche. With plenty of twists and turns to keep you engaged all the way to the end, I would highly recommend this for anyone really!
I will be picking up more of her back catalogue soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2015
Haunted is the tragic tale of Nigel Price, a man whose child-born anger issues developed as he matured and bubbled over in a terrible accident and left him haunted by his actions for the next twenty years.

Nigel had a strict upbringing from parents who didn't want to have a spoilt child, but instead left him feeling unloved and jealous of his friends and the material objects their parents generously gave. It lead to bouts of lashing out angrily and a false bravado which as a teenager he fuelled with drink.

As an adult Nigel was an IT specialist but still he felt the need to prove himself to his parents and those around, he was brash and loud and drove his car too fast, showing emotional needs of power seeking.

All this came to a head on the night of August 19th 1991. Nigel was driving home late, taking a road to avoid heavy traffic, he was speeding, when forced to stop abruptly by a woman driver at traffic lights.

Emily Baxter's life ended that night in a terrible set of events, and Nigel's life as he knew it ended too. Fear and guilt took over as the days, weeks, months and years went by with no-one solving the case of Emily Baxter. One man knew the truth and it plagued his life.

Nigel withdrew from his wife, his family, his friends and his IT job and kept to himself until Kelly entered his life. That's when things took a spookier turn.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
This wasn't what I was expecting at all from a book called Haunted - the ghosts and spectres are all in the mind of the main character, Nigel.

I thought Ms Savva wrote Nigel's increasing paranoia very well - you can't help feeling sympathy for him and I loved the way he, at times, seemed quite normal - which brought it home how 'normal' your average murderer can seem! I thought the way he couldn't control his temper was portrayed extremely well, too.

Unusual, interesting subject - unusual, interesting book! Nice one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was lucky enough to read this story in advance of publication and I loved it from beginning to end.

I really enjoyed the in-depth character building - so important to a story - where I could see into the minds of each of them, making for great reading. The plot was dark and clever and kept me guessing until the end.

The story gave great insight into the emotions of mankind, where guilt can create an obsessive and insane point of view. We can wonder what we'd do in the circumstances given in the plot and whether conscience is a spark for 'doing the right thing' and if we don't, we have to accept the consequences - these issues are dealt with creatively, yet never once leaving behind reality...cleverly done.

A fantastic read, well written within its many twists and turns, and so far, my favourite story by this talented author.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
Haunted (Maria Savva)
Psychological/Suspense

Nigel Price is an ordinary man. He leads an average life until one eventful night. It changed the course of his life. Try as he may he just can not let go of that night, and his past keeps coming back to haunt him.

Every day, every waking hour he is constantly reminded of this. His restless sleepless nights, the regret and quilt just eat away at his soul. Soon he is not sure what is real and what is not. Is he becoming paranoid, or are things just not as they seem.

A fantastic all night read. Maria Savva writes with passion and detail, I felt as if I were inside Nigels mind. Filled with some twists, turns, suspense and paranormal thrills. I highly recommend to suspense/thriller/paranormal lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
I downloaded this book sometime ago and due to my very long TBR list I had only recently picked it up! And it was certainly worth the wait. This is a very dark tale of murder and one that reaches deep into the mind of the protagonist Nigel. Suffering from paranoia and guilt he tries to justify his actions from one terrible night many years before. He hits the self-destruct button and starts the long journey over time battling with his conscience and sanity. This book was so well written and really got inside the mind of Nigel and you actually feel sorry for him at times. This is a dark, sinister read and one you will be drawn into from the very first page. I will certainly be reading more books by this talented author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2013
Wow! This isn't the usual type of haunted story, and wasn't what I was expecting at all. Brilliantly written, with a very unexpected angle. This is not my usual genre of reading, but I'm glad to have this book, it is so refreshing! The character of Nigel is fantastic - he could easily be real, in a true to life situation. From Nigel's childhood and teenage years, to his adulthood, the plot never slackens off and always drives forward. I would have liked it without the 'clipart' at the end of the chapters though. Maria has created a wonderful book, and I can firmly say I will be reading more of her work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2013
I don't know what I was expecting with this book, but it certainly was a pleasant surprise. It had me gripped from page one.

I felt desperately sorry for Nigel who had a terrible childhood and ultimately, after catastrophic events, creates a dreadful life for himself in adulthood.

It's a very moving story indeed with the terrible events of one night having repercussions for a lot of people.

It is a great book and I couldn't put it down until I found out what was actually going on as it becomes very creepy towards the end.
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on 26 November 2012
This is an excellent book you won't be able to put down.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a murderer? Not a sociopath with no remorse, but a rather introverted person with a fiery temper that he's never been able to control, who one day takes things too far and regrets it ever after.

This is the territory that Maria Savva tackles in `Haunted'. Nigel is a rather geeky guy, perhaps lacking in charm, but not essentially evil. One day he kills, in fact there are mitigating circumstances, but he blames himself ever after. We see him descend into misery and loneliness as the guilt eats away at him until he goes from desperation to misery to worse.

This is an exciting tale, an insight into insanity that grips you, so that you want to know all the circumstances surrounding Nigel's life. And when sinister things start to happen to him, you wonder just how it's going to end.

You will enter Nigel's world and almost feel sympathy for him, and wonder just what is going to happen, and keep on wondering until the end. Like a stone sending out ripples in a pond, the ramifications of Nigel's actions haunt him forever, and keep on haunting him until the very last page.

It makes you realise the unnerving reality that a murderer can be as ordinary as your next door neighbour . . .
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on 14 November 2012
"Haunted" is a well-written, dark novel by Maria Savva. It tells the story of Nigel Price, who ruined his own life, and the lives of several others, by a dreadful act that was fuelled by his uncontrollable anger. When we first meet Nigel, it is twenty years after this fateful event, but through a series of flashbacks, we learn about his early life and how his anger overwhelmed him, with such tragic consequences.

Nigel is remorselessly hounded by his conscience and haunted by what he has done. So much so, that he becomes introverted and withdrawn as the years pass. The novel charts the disintegration of his life - and his mind- until he is not clear what is real. As readers, we are also "in the dark". Maria Savva feeds us clues, but I was still surprised by the final chapter of the book.

There is much to admire and like about "Haunted": the writing is very good and the plot, well constructed. The characters are developed in an interesting way and the author successfully explores the way trauma can affect the human mind. I also thought the final chapter was excellent.

On a personal note - and this is the reason I did not give the novel 5 stars - I found the book to be too "dark"! However, I wholeheartedly recommend "Haunted" to all who enjoy a psychological novel, with a paranormal twist.
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