After handing in the manuscript for book three, I treated myself to a few ghostly tales to read late at night. They were a diverse bunch of books with shows how alive the genre still is. Most came recommended via a Facebook group for authors and bloggers called Book Connectors. It is one of the friendliest groups I’ve joined online and never fails to come up with great suggestions.
First up was Susan Hill. Famous for her Simon Serailler detective series and, of course, The Woman in Black, I had high expectations of Dolly. It’s a split narrative covering an incident in the childhood of Edward Cayley involving his cousin Leonora’s explosive reaction to a doll. When Edward inherits his aunt’s house, the repercussions of the act of violence begin to be felt. We’re in safe hands with Susan Hill and it’s a seriously creepy book with a slight but powerful storyline.
Joanna Briscoe’s Touched is published by the famous Hammer imprint and I found it to be very much rooted in the house-based supernatural genre. It’s clear upfront that a man, Pollard, has had a profound impact on the narrator. As we’re taken back into the past we discover his interaction with the Crale family. It’s a compelling read, well written although more mystery than supernatural. It had a Young Adult feel to it, which isn’t a criticism but a sense of how accessible Briscoe’s writing is.
Caroline Mitchell is a writer that I’d been dying to try for ages. I love the idea of combining a police procedural with elements of the supernatural and Mitchell excels at this. I wanted to read Don’t Turn Around so much that I purchased a kindle Paperwhite. Both my e-reader and the novel were great finds and I’d recommend Mitchell to anyone who likes a well-written police procedural. The supernatural element is understated and very realistic and this is a series that I’ll definitely be reading more of.