This is a paranormal historical fiction co-authored by three authors (Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons and Vicky Alvear Schecter. It follows Beatrix Greene, a woman who makes her living as a medium but she uses empathy rather than a true connection to spirits to bring comfort to her clients.
When she meets Dr James Walker, a man who professes to be a skeptic and to be able to spot a fake a mile away her life becomes a lot more complex. James offers her the chance to earn £2000 for one night's work to either prove or disprove that James' childhood home is haunted.
This is a short book and takes place over the course of about 3 days, plus an epilogue. The first day we meet Beatrix, the next day she meets James and on the third day all hell breaks loose at James' childhood home.
It is quickly revealed to Beatrix and her chaperone Harry that James' mother killed his younger brother and then herself and James wants to sell the house but before he can do so he wants to be sure there are no spirits haunting the manor house. A seance is held and terrible things happen... but spoilers, so I'll leave it at that.
Each author who contributed to this short book has a distinct voice and i found that to be a bit jarring as i don't think it was meant to be so obvious that it's written by 3 authors, however each author is also very talented and the writing is good overall.
Aside from Beatrix and James, there is Harry: an actor who helps Beatrix with her job as a medium by pretending to be a ghost on occasion; Mrs Amanda Reynolds: an american photographer who has become involved in the spirit photography business; a brief cameo by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an even briefer cameo by Harry Houdini, going by his birth name of Erik and who you would only notice if you're a history nerd like me who knew Harry's birth name and where he started his life and finally James' school friend Lord Stanhope, an insufferable man who shows up unannounced, with rather suspicious timing.
What I Didn't Like
As i mentioned this book is written by 3 authors and at times it doesfeel a little disjointed, and as though the writers didn't liaise beyond reading the previous parts before continuing on their chapters for me personally, that made it difficult to fully immerse myself in the story as each writer had a distinctive tone and it was difficult reading when Beatrix and James seemed to have different personalities depending on who wrote the chapter.
What I Loved
Beatrix is a woman who takes no shit and does what she needs to do in order to survive as a single woman in her circumstances, she's a fun character to read and her banter with Mrs Amanda Reynolds was verging on the flirtatious and was entertaining to read and added an extra dimension to her character. I also loved Harry, and his easy way of speaking with Beatrix.
This book isn't perfect and could have done with some polishing butit was by no means bad, i didn't ever feel compelled to put it down and not finish it. i wanted to know what happened and i thought it had a very satisfying ending. I recommend this to readers who want a bit of a creepy spooky read.
Rating out of 5
3.5 stars out of 5
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