Crooked Cat Publishing
“This isn’t a ghost we’re dealing with. If only it were that simple…”
Eighteen years ago, when psychic Ruby Davis was a child, her mother – also a psychic – suffered a nervous breakdown. Ruby was never told why. “It won’t help you to know,” the only answer ever given. Fast forward to the present and Ruby is earning a living from her gift, running a high street consultancy – Psychic Surveys – specialising in domestic spiritual clearance.
Boasting a strong track record, business is booming. Dealing with spirits has become routine but there is more to the paranormal than even Ruby can imagine. Someone – something – stalks her, terrifying but also strangely familiar. Hiding in the shadows, it is fast becoming bolder and the only way to fight it is for the past to be revealed – no matter what the danger.
When you can see the light, you can see the darkness too.
And sometimes the darkness can see you.
Finally, I’m getting around to writing this review. After reading the first book in this series, The Haunting of Highdown Hall, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Let me just say, I grew up on dark supernatural and horror. From a young age I probably saw more movies and read more books in the genre than I should have. I had nightmares because of James Herbert and Stephen King books, and one of the first movies on our home cinema(a projector and screen) was The Masque of the Red Death. So I don’t scare all that easily.
I knew from teasers and the author that this would be a darker story that the first. I more or less laughed it off. Reality is so much more frightening than fantasy, the idea that something could happen rather than something that is impossible. Shani Struthers knows how to take a scenario right up to the line of possibility. That’s what makes this book so creepy.
In saying all that, it took me longer to get through than I expected. It was a lot to take in and even when I wasn’t reading it, I was still thinking about it.
Ruby and the team at Psychic Surveys are back, along with Ruby’s matriarchal psychically gifted family. The book starts out as expected with Ruby and co. helping spooks to find their way back into the light. It quickly takes on a darker tone when she is called to the home of a deeply troubled young man convinced he is being stalked by something evil. Ruby tries her best to help him but the encounter opens a doorway in her memory to a dark encounter of her own.
“I see you, Ruby, I see you.”
Colour me chilled to the bone with that line.
And so begins an escalating fight between good and evil where Ruby is the prize. Ruby isn’t about to lose herself so easily, and neither are her friends and family, especially her mum, Jessica, who has been little more than a zombie for many years.
There is a lot of detail in this book, a lot of history on Ruby’s life before the first book, on spiritualism and the history of occult. It’s a meaty read but I found, especially in earlier chapters, that the reader gets a little break to digest while characters went about their daily lives and give a real sense of who they are and what they are about. This is important to making the reader want to root for them. This story is layered and deep, thought provoking while not being pretentious.
Shani Struthers once again shows why she is an automatic buy for me. Her writing is fantastic, her prose tight and realistic with enough description of surroundings and characters to completely submerge the reader in to the world she has created. Everything was tied up at the end, there were no characters left dangling over cliffs. I got a sense that there may be more darkness to come in future books.
It’s difficult to talk about this book without giving too much away, so I’ll leave it there. It’s a must read, especially for those who read books or come out of a cinema shrugging at what was meant to be spine tingling.
About the Author
An avid reader, I'll wade through pretty much anything but hot favourites right now are romance, horror (not gory though, more supernatural) and contemporary. Am discovering some wonderful books through Goodreads and writing circles on Facebook - haven't had to pop into Waterstones for ages! I'm also the author of The Runaway Year, published by Omnific Publishing - a contemporary Cornish romance with a healthy dash of sass. Later this year my second novel will be available - a paranormal mystery this time. Psychic Surveys Book 1: The Haunting of Highdown Hall will be published by Crooked Cat Publishing and is the first in a series which will only get darker.
Read all about it on my website or on my blog. I'm also on twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shani-S....