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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 18 February 2015
I adore a great ghost story, and this is one of the best I've read so far. I'm new to Jonathan Aycliffe and I'm now reading my way through his other novels with great excitement! The Vanishment unravels into a terrifying (and upsetting) tale of two families, revealing the disturbing past of Petherick House, the owners (past and present) and Peter Clare, who recounts his experience in the book. Peter Clare, one of the key characters in the book, is a writer and tells his story in a style that seems to fit his character and profession. Peter Clare and his wife, Sarah, rent Petherick House for two months to work on their writing and art, and to rebuild their strained marriage. Peter and Sarah have their own tragedy to cope with, and then Peter uncovers the horrific history of Petherick House after his wife disappears. The shocking, cleverly told story is haunting and brilliant. My favourite supernatural novel since Woman in Black. Thank you, Jonathan Aycliffe, for scaring the hell out of me!
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on 31 July 2008
As with all Mr Aycliffes books you'll probably get through this in a day or 2 as i did. From the first page you're hooked. I began reading it on a dark windy night (which i blamed the chills and goosebumps on that covered my arms and back!) I finished it in bed the next morning with sunlight streaming through the window and the sound of birds chirping and traffic going by and to my surprise the chills kept on coming right to the end. Mr Aycliffe has a real knack for this and if you liked any of his other books; the matrix, the talisman, whispers in the dark etc... then you wont be disappointed with this.
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on 2 March 2015
I really wanted this to be a good read, cold dark winter nights, on my own travelling from home.......but so disappointing, flat characters, plot thin and slow with a really poor ending after stretching credibility of the storyline too far.
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'The Vanishment' was originally published in 1994 and follows the path of a traditional supernatural, ghost story with nicely worked Gothic elements. If you're a fan of spooky old houses, Petherick House to be exact, vengeful spirits and creepy goings, all rather predictable, you should enjoy the read. The story is told through the character of Peter Clare, writer, a man with dreadful secrets and whose wife seems to have vanished. Aycliffe is slow to reveal much of Peter Clare's motivation and back history but he does build a decent sense of intrigue that kept me reading to find out more. There's a clever play on fantasy v reality/sanity v insanity which help lift the novel to a level above ordinary 'pulp horror' fiction but it is old fashioned and wordy. If you've read 'Naomi's Room' you're not in for too many surprises as 'The Vanishment' follows a similar thread but in a different setting.

'The Vanishment' is enjoyable, fun in places and intelligently written. Should appeal to anyone looking for an eerie, traditional story with supernatural elements.
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I have always been a great fan of horror and supernatural novels since I started reading them as a boy in the early fifties and over the years have amassed a large collection, mainly paperback copies and I am now replacing those available as e-books with Kindle Editions. This re-organisation has also given me the chance to revisit books that I have not read for a while......I had not revisited this novel since I purchased it in 1994.

I had almost totally forgotten what a superb storyteller of ghost and supernatural tales Mr Aycliffe is certainly a master of his genre.

This is one of my favourite of his novels and was just as full of suspense and chills the second time around as the first reading.
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on 3 February 2016
I enjoy horror stories and really liked this author's other work Naomi's Room, however I was disappointed with this book. I thought it was quite predictable and derivative of lots of other stories of ghostly hauntings. I did read it to the end however, but without much enjoyment.
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on 22 March 2015
A good novel that deals with bad events from the 1850's that are linked to today based on one house and one family across the generations. I thought initially that its written style was old fashioned but after a time realised that this style suited the story.
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on 8 March 2015
I enjoyed this book from start to finish, it moves along at a desent pace.
The book reminded me of the book the exorsist,I liked the way the author keeps you gripped right the way through the book.
A great read,if you choose to read this novel,you won't be disappointed.
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on 27 December 2015
I liked the way the book gripped me from beginning it wasn't slow starting. And got straight into it the way I like it... I love horrors and especially my horror books and this did not fail leaving me with goose bumps. The only reason it hasn't got five stars is cause I feel like there are a few unanswered questions.... But would highly recommend.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 March 2014
I’ve read a few of this author’s books before, and they’re always brilliant – chilling, the tension ramping up from the first page to the last. Even though you know something horrible is going to happen, you’re never quite sure what it might be.

In this story Peter Clare and his wife Sarah decide to book a house in Cornwall for a well-earned break and a chance to rekindle their relationship. Peter is a writer, Sarah an artist and they both plan to work as well as relax on their two-month break. Sarah is immediately affected by an atmosphere she feels in the house but Peter dismisses her concerns and she determines to soldier on. But when she disappears, Peter finds himself in the middle of a living nightmare.

This was another great tale from Aycliffe; there is a sense of impending doom right from the start, but as the reader you have no idea where it’s going to come from; there is suspense, horror, drama, the whole works. Great writing, a great story, and a wonderful chilling novel. Definitely recommended; as are more of his works, including Naomi’s Room and Whispers in the Dark.
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