23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A haunting tale that will keep you turning the pages long into the night,
This review is from: The Ghost Hunters: the most haunted house in England (Kindle Edition)
The Ghost Hunters is a psychological horror story that haunts the senses with each turn of the page. Spring has skilfully blended fact with fiction to re-imagine the life of Harry Price, London's most notorious ghost hunter during the 1930s and 1940s, through the fictional voice of a young assistant - Miss Sarah Grey.
Spring captures the clipped tones of a well bred young woman of the time perfectly. Miss Grey has survived the First World War, she lives in genteel poverty with her mother and her father has passed away. She encounters Mr Price through her mother's obsession with wanting to get in touch with her father's spirit. When Miss Grey is sceptical that any such contact could be made, she makes a profound impression on Price and he offers her a job as his assistant.
Price's compulsion to expose fraudulent mediums and charlatans (the novel features many of those whom he encountered and exposed in real life) begins to have an impact on Miss Grey's life. All her time revolves around his schedule to the detriment of other relationships. Despite his abrupt manner and tendency to be rude to her in front of others, she becomes obsessed by him, but the longer she is with him the less she knows about the man. Was he a showman, a conman, or was he genuinely in search of the truth?
Price rose to fame after he began investigating the haunting of Borley Rectory in 1929, said to be the most haunted house in England. It is this haunting and the impact it has on Miss Grey and Harry Price that drives the narrative of the novel. The floor plans of Borley Rectory are printed in the front of the novel so the reader can see exactly where the characters are as they encounter each phenomenon. In addition, throughout the text here are footnotes relating to news reports at the time.
The story that haunts these pages is cleverly constructed; it reminded me of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill at times, with an equally frightening apparition at the heart of it, a creature whose curse haunts those with secrets to keep. There is deception in the darkness of this tale; truth flickers in the shadows and flits away, twisting the minds of those who dare not face it. The mounting tension and creeping sense of dread will keep you turning the pages long into the night.
With thanks to the publisher - Quercus - for the review copy.