A House of Ghosts by W C Ryan

The sea was black as ink and the small fishing boat, travelling under a loose sail, moved slowly across its glass-flat calm.

A House of Ghosts cover

The war has left few without ghosts following them through life. At Blackwater Abbey Lord Highmount gathers friends, family and those with an affinity for the dead in the hopes of contacting the spirits of his sons, killed on the front line.

It soon becomes clear that there is more going on at Blackwater than the guests or the host could have anticipated. Blood is spilled, and the spirits are restless. Who will leave this house of ghosts alive?

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With the approach of Halloween, this seemed an eminently suitable read for October, and coming off the back of a Poirot TV marathon, a story set in WWI era Britain completely suited my mood.

This book had a grisly murder, a burgeoning romance and an interesting mix of the supernatural and the mundane. I had expected a scarier story, but the story I got was intriguing and atmospheric, even if it didn’t have me hiding behind my sofa cushions.

The cast of characters was well-developed and served to keep me interested right to the end. I enjoyed the switching between point-of-view characters as this added to the air of mystery. Overall this was a well-plotted and accomplished novel.

Hopefully there was another doctor somewhere…who could mend the shattered remnants of the young man they’d known before he went to war.

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