Book Reviews

The Silence (A Nell West and Michael Flint Haunted House Story) by Sarah Rayne

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List Price: £19.99


Hardcover: 256 Pages.

Published: 22 January 2013 by Severn House Publishers Ltd

ISBN: 0727882481

EAN: 9780727882486

Nell West is asked to value the contents of a home after the elderly owner dies. Relatives of her late husband, she is of course keen to be involved, and goes down there for a few days with her daughter Beth. But when she hears piano playing on a piano that is locked, and she and Beth are frightened by a woman on the property at night, the papers that she has found telling something of the history of the property's previous owners begin to take on a more sinister turn.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Excellent Ghost Story

This is the story of Stilter House in the small Derbyshire village of Caudle. Recently widowed Nell and her daughter Beth go to stay in the house whilst Nell catalogues the contents. This was a home much visited by Beth's father in his childhood and Nell is hoping that Beth will find some connection with him there. Nell and Beth do make connections with the past, just not quite as they had intended.

I took a while to get into this book but once I did, I was hooked. All the present day events take place over the course of a few days so there is a lot going on. Much of the book harks back to two separate time periods in Stilter House's history . This is done through the use of old documents, diaries, newspaper reports and letters. I particularly enjoyed this method of giving us the information - a small piece of information in a nineteeth century letter to a builder, a passing comment in a diary in the attic coupled with an old newspaper report created a wonderful jigsaw to puzzle out.

This is a ghost story & there are several ghosts to choose from. The descriptions of two of the ghosts and the events around them created a wonderful atmosphere. Who could fail to feel hairs rise at a description of gouge marks from someone's hands as they tried to get out? Sarah Rayne is a master of suspense and this is definitely one of her best.

The modern day characters of Nell, Beth and Nell's boyfriend, Michael aren't particularly special. They are really there to be characters to do discovery work for the reader. The really well constructed characters are those from the past, especially Jack & Samuel Burlap, Esmond and his father. These characters all drew conclusions from events and made decisions which had far ranging consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is a murderer in this book but it certainly wasn't who I was expecting it to be! The pieces all fitted together well and clues were there but I just hadn't seen it coming.

This is an excellent book which I enjoyed thoroughly. Don't give up on the first few slightly slow chapters but read on for an excellent mystery book.

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