Author: Susi Holliday
Genre: Paranormal / Horror
Format: Paperback 252 pages
Release Date: 15 November 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Firstly I would like to thank Anne Cater for inviting me to join in this Blog Tour and Karen at Orenda Books for the copy of this book provided to me for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
The e-book version of ‘The Lingering’ is now available on Amazon at:
Jack and Ali need a new life away from the city and decide to join the Rosalind House Community Project for a ‘Bright and Light Existence’. Straight away you can tell that Jack and Ali are at odds about something. Jack did something in his past which has caused them to effectively run away and this ‘something’ feels like a huge dark cloud over their relationship.
The house they find themselves living in has a chequered past to say the least. Prior to the community moving in run by Smeaton, the house was an asylum and prior to that it was said to have housed witches as they await trial. With that much history it’s no wonder that shortly after Jack and Ali arrive she starts to experience strange goings on.
I really liked the fact that the book pretty much jumped in straight away with the strange happenings. What is often the case with most horror/supernatural books in my opinion is the suspense is drawn out until the final chapters before we actually see anything happen. This is not the case with this book – buckle up! All I can say is don’t read this book in the bath! When you get to a certain chapter you will understand why!
Rosalind House in itself is like it’s own character within the book and I loved that at the beginning of the book a map is drawn of the layout of the house and grounds. It really helped me visualise the house alongside the descriptive writing the author uses to allow the house to take on it’s own personality. I’ve always been drawn to spooky old houses that feature in books and Rosalind House is definitely that. I’m not sure i’d want to stay the night there but it made the perfect setting for this story.
The book is told primarily from Ali and Angela’s perspective’s with some chapters from Smeaton featuring towards the end of the book. Angela lives at Rosalind House as part of the community. She believes she is on a mission to prove that ghosts exist and is convinced that she can prove her theory by spending time at the house conducting experiments with EMF metres and video recorders. There’s an almost childlike quality to Angela but I couldn’t help thinking that her interest in the paranormal aspects of the house would get her in trouble.
As well as the above perspectives there are also diary entries from Dr Henry Baldcock’s journal interspersed throughout. Dr Baldcock spent time at Rosalind House back in the 50’s when it was occupied as an asylum and his chapters really help to add history and depth to the story.
It’s interesting to think how one building that has stood for so long has been used for so many different purposes and housed so many different people, all of which have left their mark on Rosalind House in their own unique ways.
This book simmers with tension in the best possible way from the first chapter right through to the last. It’s a story that draws you in so you easily get lost in the pages and I would recommend you clear some time in your diary as you won’t want to put it down!
About the Author
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December.
Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.
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