A gripping introduction sucks the reader in right off the bat. The story then moves into a very ordinary work-a-day setting with our central character, Ethan Hudsun. Life has battered him down of late and even though he appears a bit of a hopeless case, it's easy to empathise with him because he's a likeable character. Also, written in the first person, allows the reader to get into his head.
Ethan is more than middle-aged, living in a bedsit and needs to do something to shake himself up. He joins an evening class, hoping to learn something new and expand his social circle. He chooses Local History and meets up with a small but diverse bunch of characters. He soon settles into the course and looks forward to their weekly meetings. They are studying murders dating back over 100 years and the Tutor seems to be hell bent on specific dates and unsolved murders and mysteries. Two of the women in the group, around his own age, seem to be paying him a bit of attention and he's flattered if a little wary. The book runs in parallel - with historical tales, told in great detail, and the current story of Ethan and his fellow students. With the threat of a new murder about to take place, the unravelling of a mystery, unsolved for decades there's plenty to keep the reader turning the page; not to mention who will Ethan choose as his love interest. The story will keep you guessing till the end after you've been led up a few blind alleys and dodged a few read herrings.
This book is not what I'd normally read – but I'm so pleased that I did. If you like a bit of local history mixed up with murder, mystery, the paranormal and a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, you're going to love this book. Steve Wilson's debut novel is a hit in my book and I look forward to reading more of his work.