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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read
I don't usually write reviews but felt I had to in this instance. I read the first book, The Detective's Daughter, and thought what a great book that was and looked forward to Ghost Girl, and it didn't disappoint. A very good plot, a bit different from the usual with quite a few twists and turns. The main characters, Stella and Jack are developing very nicely and I do...
Published 9 months ago by jackie

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you like unravelling mysteries?
I enjoyed the originality of The Detective's Daughter but found this sequel a little irritating. In particular, while Jack's character was a curiosity in the first book it rankled in this.

It could just be that I wouldn't normally read standard 'detective' books so don't be put off if you do!

Notwithstanding, I enjoyed the flashbacks and kept reading...
Published 6 months ago by A. K. Carlton


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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn mystery, 16 Jan. 2015
By 
K. Nixon (Kent) - See all my reviews
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In the second Detective’s Daughter mystery, accidental detective and owner of a cleaning business, Stella Darnell, inherits another case. Her father, Superintendent Terry Darnell, has been dead for a year but Stella is unable to move on. She still visits his house daily, almost expecting his return any time, and keeps it spotlessly clean. During her ministrations in his basement office Stella discovers what appears to be an unsolved case – a folder of unlabeled photographs of deserted streets. This strikes her as odd – her father was a stickler for order. Every case he’d ever worked on was correctly filed in the Hammersmith station where he was based. Why is this one different? She believes he’s left her a mystery to solve from beyond the grave, one he never could close out himself. Unable to resist the challenge Stella decides to investigate and calls on Jack, one of her employees, to help her.

The oldest photo dates back to the day in May 1966 when 10-year-old Mary Thornton was taking her brother home from school and the Moors murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were sent to prison for life. Mary witnessed an accident that changed her life forever. During her investigation Stella learns that the photos relate to a series of road traffic accidents on the streets of London spanning 40 years and are linked to the event that affected Thornton so much…

Stella Darnell’s first outing was in the smash hit novel, The Detective’s Daughter, which reached number one on the Amazon chart and was voted Sainsbury’s Ebook of the Year in 2013. Interestingly her publisher describes Thomson as ‘the dark horse of fiction in 2013′ as The Detective’s Daughter was very much an unexpected hit.

Though Ghost Girl follows on from The Detective’s Daughter, it is sufficiently independent to act as a standalone. There are references to previous events, but these are minor in scale compared to the driving force of the narrative. It is this aspect which is the strongest element of the novel. Ghost Girl is incredibly rich in description, every sentence oozes texture, depth and colour. Essentially there are three story arcs, each from the perspective of one of the characters. Two take place in the present day as Stella and Jack investigate the crime, but in amongst them we get Mary’s perspective from back in 1966. The three arcs develop the story and over time blend together. It’s an interesting approach.

Which leads to another element that is well handled, that of character development. Because there are three stories going on, the opportunity for this is limited. The three stories also means there is a large supporting cast of secondary characters, which sometimes proves distracting and a need to flip between the three which can break the flow.

Stella, through her cleaning business, spends a lot of time looking after others, whether it’s her increasingly forgetful mother, her customers or her dead father, whose house she still regularly visits and attends to. Jack is one of her employees, popular and good at his job he also helps Stella with cases, mainly by breaking and entering other people’s properties in unusual ways. Everyone wants his time. But there’s something strange and hidden about him. And Mary, a calculating, self-serving child again with hidden depths and a darkness about her. It’s all a bit grey, somewhat grim, slightly seedy. Mystery abounds in Ghost Girl as a result.

The story unfolds at a steady pace, developing each plotline in turn, while Stella manages her company, her day to day life and the personal traumas associated with it. The revelations will creep up on you, so don’t expect wham-bam action and intrigue; this is slow burn, cerebral stuff which needs thought applied when delving into the plot.

Originally written for Crime Fiction Lover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My, but there are some weird people about, 22 Dec. 2014
By 
S. B. Kelly (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Thomson has written what must be two of the most convoluted novels in the crime canon in The Detective's Daughter and this, its sequel. Set a year after the first novel, little has changed: Stella is still unable to let go of her recently dead father or his house; Jack is still staying, uninvited, in people's homes.

I can see that it would be very easy to get lost in this novel and maybe give up in despair but I found myself frantically turning the pages towards the end, desperate to find out who, exactly, had done what to whom.

As in the first volume, we flit between past and present, between 1966 and 2012 (though once, thanks to a typo, into 1912!). I found the 1966 passages a little tedious, wanting to get back to Stella and her investigation, but they are all short.

I have just one criticism. I deeply object to the idea that when a kid runs out in front of a car and gets knocked down, it’s automatically the driver’s fault! It would be okay if it was just the killer who believed this but the author seems to believe it too. Sometimes a driver is just going carefully along, minding his own business, and someone runs in front of him.

The most striking thing about these novels, though, is how weird everyone is. There is not one 'normal' person in them and, yes, we do all know what is meant by 'normal'. I live in Stella's stamping ground (another reason these novels appeal to me), I promise faithfully that we are not all weirdos here in Chiswick/Hammersmith.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another well crafted murder mystery., 8 Nov. 2014
By 
R G Palmer (Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The second in 'The Detective's Daughter' series carries on where the first one left off. It might be beneficial for the prospective reader to read book 1 before tackling this second instalment, but it's not essential to the enjoyment of the book for them to do so.

Once again we have a meticulous examination of the two main characters, Stella (the titular daughter) and the somewhat bizarre Jack: both of whom are what we call these days 'OCD'. In fact, a good many of Ms Thomson's characters seem to be OCD or at least very odd. She takes us deep into the minds of each of them in a carefully crafted, well written murder mystery set in in the Hammersmith area of West London, which is described for us in minute detail.

As I also said in my review of the first book in this series, if the reader is looking for a fast paced crime thriller then this is not it - what we are presented with here is an intricately plotted, finely tuned piece of work which requires a great deal of concentration to follow properly. It is a good book but will not be to everyone's taste - the amount of detail we are asked to retain about dates, locations, killers and victims is vast and at times probably a bit too much to expect. The author is clearly so deeply into her subject matter that at times she forgets that we have a long way to go to catch her up. She even provides spreadsheets in the text to help us! There is also a big question mark over whether or not the crimes could realistically have been committed with such a resounding success rate bearing in mind how they are being carried out.

Having said which, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a little more thinking along with their crime books - I look forward to number 3, in which I hope Stella actually has a little more success with her love life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have been four stars but for the many typos, 19 Aug. 2014
By 
DebbieB (Southend-on-sea) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed this unusual book, as I did the first one. The story rattled along and the characters were well-drawn and interesting.
BUT there are a handful of silly errors that a decent proof-reader really should have picked up:
'Stella....heard the Terry's gate click shut.'
'Elizabeth Figg's was body found on 17 June 1959.'
'Douglas Ford was the sole witness and he knew never told anyone...'
Such a shame, and something Lesley Thomson should sort out before the next in the series, which I am, however, really looking forward to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This novel tries too hard to meet all the reader's ..., 19 Sept. 2014
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This novel tries too hard to meet all the reader's expectations of a thriller and falls short on all accounts . It attempts to merge the mundane with the supernatural and unfortunately the result is a chaotic disjointed interaction with its reader. The ending is both predictable and unrewarding for such a tortuous journey through what only amounts to a labyrinth as uninteresting as the characters who inhabit the story
This was my first encounter with Lesley Thomas and I am sorry to say it will be my only one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to go on reading deep into the night, 21 Nov. 2014
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GHOST GIRL is one of my favourite books of 2014.
There is a depth to the characters and a compassion for them which stays with you long after you've read the last page.
Lesley Thomson is also brilliant at evoking a sense of place. I feel I know her Hammersmith and it's a pretty dark location. Her evocation of the decaying Mallingswood Prep School with its rows of neatly made beds has a quality to it that is so sinister.

Her central characters, Jack and Stella, are both outsiders and they share a deep integrity which unites them. It also makes you root for them in their quest for the truth about some cold case murders which have been filed away as accidents. Jack has a spiritual dimension to him that enables him to perceive evil in the form of Hosts and True Hosts. The description of these moments is truly chilling. Stella is more grounded but shares his forensic attention to detail. They make an unlikely but great team.
Yes I loved it even though it frightened me thoroughly as I read on deep into the night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 27 Jun. 2014
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I enjoyed this book, hard to put down. Jack is a strange character but i'm hoping for a third book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost girl, 21 May 2014
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I have read all the books by this amazing author and this was excellent. I really didn't want it to end. I can't wait for another.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but very slightly unnecessarily comlicated., 20 Oct. 2014
By 
P. R. Luck (UK) - See all my reviews
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Another excellent story from Lesley Thomson, marked down only because I though it was just slightly too complicated, in a way that didn't really add to the story.

Also, a nitpick - BEWARE SPOILER:

The method the murder was supposed to be using would not really have worked because if s/he had jumped from the pavement the car would have swerved AWAY from any tree on said pavement and if he had come from the other side of the road the driver would have seen him and been prepared. Also, the driver would have braked as well as swerved and if he was far enough from the tree for the car to be able to deviate enough to hit it he would also have lost quite a bit of speed and he would need to hit just about head on to cause a fatality (assuming seatbelt) which would be far to difficult to guarantee with all the variables involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not like it, 31 Aug. 2014
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I could not get into this book no matter how hard I tried. I never did quite finish it, reading about two thirds of it. I don't like not finishing a book, but I also do not like wasting precious moments of my life on things that aren't for me, and this book was one of them.
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