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'The Holy Ghost Club' might have started something!
on 25 June 2011
Cambridge University 1786, Jerusalem College in particular, and a long, hard look at the hedonistic lifestyle of mostly over privileged male students who seem to do anything but study.
Not everyone at the university is wealthy. Some of the students, boys on a scholarship, alongside college lecturers survive on a pittance. This impoverished group are further stressed by bullying and class discrimination handed down from the 'higher echelons'.
Into this mix of over indulgence, poverty and eccentricity arrives the character of John Holdsworth a man recently widowed and now on a mission to find and help one of the students, Frank, member of the 'Holy Ghost Club' and son of an aristocratic family. What emerges from here is a story of ghosts, murder and general 'shenanigans' amongst the university population. Is there a female spectre haunting the university?. If so then why?. That's all part of the mystery and the revelations are slowly and satisfyingly worked into the plot.
None of these characters are particularly likeable with most of them out for little more than self indulgence and self promotion. Their university life, due to the era, is almost entirely male and one dimensional. Women are either mothers, wives, employers or ghosts!. A mentally frail boy and his widowed minder have a puzzle to solve before either is fully recovered. Maybe it's too late?.
I enjoyed this book. The historical background is believable. Moments of dark creepiness built a sense of tension which kept me hooked.