Title: The Lost Ones

Author: Anita Frank

Pages: 464 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Some houses are never at peace.

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

In the classic tradition of The Woman in Black, Anita Frank weaves a spell-binding debut of family tragedy, loss and redemption.

The Review

I love a good creepy story. Preferably one set in a spooky house and there has to be a mystery.

Voila. The Lost Ones by Anita Frank.

The Lost Ones is set during World War One. Stella Marcham has experienced sadness that no one should ever have gone through. She is sent to convalesce and grieve at her sister’s home but things seem to be getting worse rather than better. When no one believes Stella and her sister about the ghostly happenings at Greyswick, she leaves herself in danger of being sent to an asylum.

I have such a visceral response to the terrible history of women being made to appear as if they were crazy or mentally unhinged. It makes me feel physically sick. I have a genuine fear of gas lighting and especially during a period of time when women weren’t taken seriously and were treated like delicate flowers. Anita Frank’s fantastic writing made me feel so helpless and hopeless for Stella. My stomach was churning and my anxiety was peaked. If a book can make you have that much of a reaction then you know that it is written well.

Furthermore, the characterisation was deeply unsettling. Mrs Henge, the housekeeper had such a sinister Mrs Danvers quality to her that it was hard not to see suspicion lying around every corner. Besides the ghost story you have a house full of intrigue and mystery with twists and turns aplenty to keep you on your toes.

As far as ghost stories go, The Lost Ones is one of the best ghost stories that I have read all year. Add in the multiple layers – war time, feminism, mental health – Anita Frank really has created a fantastic story; one that is still playing on my mind days after turning the final page.

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank is available now.

For more information regarding Anita Frank (@Ajes74) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Haverscroft

Author: S. A. Harris

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Salt

The Blurb

Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?

Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Firstly, I need to thank Emma Downson from Salt for sending me a review copy of Haverscroft and allowing me to be a part of the book tour.

Haverscroft is a modern day ghost story set in a creepy old house in a small town. From that mini description I was completely sold. I am the perfect audience for a ghost story and thriller. I never guess the outcome and good writing can genuinely creep me out.

One of the great things about Haverscroft and indeed Harris’s writing of it is that she keeps the sense of eeriness all the way through it; this increases chapter by chapter and the reader continues to have a feeling of unease throughout. There is no reprieve from this and for a modern day ghost story that is a hard feeling to create and keep consistent.

Harris also manages to toy with your mind. We don’t know if what Kate is feeling is true – we suspect it is because she is not the only one uneasy with the house but with her history we start to question whether or not she is a reliable narrator or not. However, what you also feel is the need to believe her and in turn dislike the people in her life who are making you question her. There were times whilst reading this book when I was compelled to shout out loud ‘ooh, you swine!”

I think that to write a contemporary ghost story is quite difficult. As an audience, we are jaded and aren’t necessarily as skittish anymore. Harris does all the elements of the thriller very well although for me the ending needed to be stronger; that being said, when everyone in my house went to bed I had to put down the book because Haverscroft did leave me seriously freaked out.

Haverscroft by S. A. Harris is available now.

For more information regarding S. A. Harris (@salharris1) please visit www.saharrisauthor.com.

For more information regarding Salt Publishing (@saltpublishing) please visit www.saltpublishing.com.

Title: Cold Bath Street

Author: AJ Hartley

Pages: 316 Pages

Publisher: UCLan Publishing

The Blurb

Preston Oldcorn is in a desolate void between life and death. In order to save his soul he must brave his greatest fear – Cold Bath Street. A gothic thriller – think Hunger Games crossed with Artemis Fowl – that will keep you gripped to the end. Stunning black and white illustrations throughout.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

What are you supposed to do when you are lost in that precarious world between life and death? Preston Oldcorn has to figure this question out because since he died he has been stuck in a sort of limbo, consorting with ghosts and occasionally going back to his old home in Preston, Lancashire. He hasn’t gone to heaven and he knows he hasn’t done anything bad enough to send him to hell. But he does seem to be unable to get away from his home town.

Preston’s story mixes local ghost stories and spooky history from the Lancashire town. Author, AJ Hartley grew up in the area and has used real life locations to shape and develop his tale of lost souls. We see the sadness of unfinished business juxtaposed with the light of making new friendships and making the best of a bad situation. Hartley manages to bond the natural and the supernatural together in such a believable way that you will not be able to put the book down until you know just how it end.

Cold Bath Street is a really good ghost story. It is creepy and mysterious and keeps you guessing to the very last page. It is a very entertaining read and perfect for those who like to be scared.

Cold Bath Street by AJ Hartley is available now.

For more information regarding AJ Hartley (@authorajhartley) please visit www.ajhartley.net.

For more information regarding UCLan Publishing (@publishingdeb) please visit www.uclanpublishing.com.