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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 May 2015
I have read most of Carol Goodman's books and really enjoy her style of writing. The stories are not fast moving, but the narrative is normally beautifully crafted and typically fascinating as echoes of the past brush with the present, generally with supernatural overtones.

Hence The Ghost Orchid was a surprising disappointment. Set in the present day, the Bosco Estate is a sanctuary for creative writers. Ellis (female) is writing a book on the strange events which occurred on the estate in 1893 which included deaths and the unexplained disappearance of Alice, the child of the house. Gradually these events come to dominate the present day as their secrets are revealed amidst a crescendo of spooky happenings.

I think that less is usually more with ghost stories and it is best to leave most to the imagination of the reader. Here the converse rather proves the point. It does not help that after a slow start, the central revelation is fairly clearly telegraphed by the middle of the book. I would rate the book as being at least 100 pages too long as the story, and indeed the reader, are submerged under a welter of revelations, hauntings and improbable coincidences.

Overextending books and having too much going on are often mistakes of novice authors so with three successful books under her belt it is really surprising that Goodman fell into these traps. She remains one of my favorite authors, but had The Ghost Orchid been the first of her works I had read it would likely have also been the last.
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VINE VOICEon 22 March 2009
This is a ghost story like no other set, at the turn of the 19th century and the start of the 21st. Two seperate periods in time related in an unusual way and brought together at Bosco, a retriet for artists.

Mediums, murders, seances, ghosts, you have it all in this book. As you read, the story unfolds in such an interesting and spooky way.

The characters from the past connect with those in the present until the past can be redeemed through the present.

Wonderful writing, brilliant plot and believable characters. I am ordering more of Carol Goodmans books right now!
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on 30 March 2010
Ellis has come to Bosco a retreat for novelists and artists to write a book. Her mother is a spiritualist and although Ellis has rebelled against this she has become fascinated with a past mystery involving Bosco, seances, murders and a missing child.

The author then takes us through 2 stories that interweave Ellis' time at Bosco and her research into the mystery for her book (which leads to the ghosts haunting the place to start to possess the artists) with the story of the actual events and characters involved in the seances.

This is a good mystery and ghost novel with both stories linking together and complementing each other. The mystery is in no way straightforward and there are a lot of things to uncover which kept my interest up and meant that it is not easy to guess what happened.
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on 22 February 2011
I nearly didn't make it through the first two chapters of this book, because the language and style just kept screaming "Mills & Boon". The cliches were piled on thick and fast. Shoulders were "creamy", profiles "Grecian", and the dialogue written for an Italian character, was just classic "Ello, Ello" style (every sentence punctuated with "how you say").

I didn't have anything else to read however, so I did persevere. I'm glad I did, because the style improved, and the plot was quite well put together. It's a moderately good ghost story, fairly engaging, and okay for a light undemanding bit of entertainment.
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on 29 October 2010
I've previously read The Lake of Dead Languages and Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman, and I really really loved both of them, and would give them both 5 stars. The only reason I don't give this 5 is because I don't feel it's as deep as the others, and at times the story wasn't quite as gripping as the others I've read. However it is still a fantastic book, very well written, and with the usual twists I've come to expect from the author! I'm looking forward to reading more of her books (all of which I got recently!), and I would recommend them to anyone, in fact I already have - my Grandma, just proves that anyone of any age will love Goodman's books.
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on 12 February 2010
I have read all of Carol Goodman's novels, and this is my favourite. It's a little differnt from her others, which are more akin to Dan Brown for academics. This is a beautifully written ghost story with a dialogic narrrative that keeps you in suspense throughout. The mix of contemporary and historical is excellent. Goodman is a master of her craft. I don't want to spoil it for you so I won't say any more.
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on 14 February 2011
Just finished this book- initially i found it hard to get into, but stuck with it. Glad I did actually, as once i did i couldnt put the book down! Its the first i have read by this author, and i was impressed enough to order another of hers! she is descriptive in such a way that you actually feel the atmosphere and emotion. I liked this book because its something a bit different from the usual chick-lit types of books which seem to be around in abundance. im not adverse to stories involving women/love/relationmships etc, as long as they have that 'extra' something, which is different, and thought provoking. This book has it!! i loved the way the book went from the past to the present and vice- versa. Stick with this book- snuggle down next to the fire and enjoy! A good winter read.
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on 20 June 2015
So disappointing I didn't bother finishing it as by half way through I realised the author had not created enough interest in the plot or empathy with the characters to make you care what happened to them. A shame as I really loved Lake of Dead Languages, so much so I have bought all Carol Goodman's other books only to find none matches up to it.
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on 2 March 2011
I wish I had not bothered but I opened the book whilst on holiday in Germany and had access to nothing else. Stodgy, implausible, silly book.
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on 26 July 2010
Found this book to be slow going at first but it soon picked up. A very atmospheric and chilling tale.
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