Blog Tour Stop! A House of Ghosts by WC Ryan
If you, like me, are a seasonal reader who loves a good mysterious, spooky, supernatural story in October to get you in the Halloween mood, then ya’ll, do I have the book for you.
A House of Ghosts was EVERYTHING I wanted for my October TBR, and then some. Chilling, atmospheric, complex, entrancing - this is a story that is a delightful slow burn, pulling you in from the very first page to the very last word.
Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.
At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.
For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .
An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read next winter.
This book gave me serious Agatha Christie vibes, in the best possible way. The thing I love about a good Christie novel is the weaving of characters, timelines, perspectives, stories and backgrounds that can seem completely irrelevant to one another chapter after chapter, and then suddenly, as if by magic, all the pieces fall together to create a bigger picture of a story than you could have possibly imagined.
This story is THAT.
Setting a ghost story against a historical fiction setting? Brilliant. The wartime setting grabbed my attention right away - I have said before that I love a book set in events that actually occurred, as for me, it lends credibility to the story. It’s like I can better picture what is happening in the plot, because I have so many additional reference points for that event in time. One might think that characters trying to communicate with spirits would somehow diminish this feature for me, but one would be so, so wrong. If anything I was all the more convinced it could be done!
I also loved Kate as a character - she herself was so dynamic and complex that I wanted to see where the story took her. I love a strong woman being abstracted against a period of time when women were considered to be a far weaker sex - give me ALL THE GIRL POWER. I was invested in her right away, and quite frankly, I wish there was a series based on her character specifically. Maybe it’s time to start a petition.
Speaking of characters I loved? The mansion. That beauty was a character in itself as far as I am concerned, and it added so much to the atmosphere of the story, that I cannot imagine this book set anywhere else. Based on only the element of the mansion in this book, I would 100% pay good money to see this book adapted to film, as I would LOVE to see this mansion IRL. If you are a reader who loves books with strong settings, then pick this book up just for the setting alone.
I could wax poetic for hours about all the elements of this book that make it special (and I haven’t even started in on how stunning the cover is) but really, it all just comes together to make a unique, highly readable, engrossing plot that made for some of my most fun autumn reading to date. I could not recommend this book enough for readers who love an old-timey mystery feel, historical fiction, supernatural elements or just a truly confident take on a genre that can sometimes feel stale. This book is ANYTHING but stale, I promise you that.
Be sure to get this one in your October TBR if you can - the Halloween vibes are strong with this one my friends!
Many thanks to Compulsive Readers for inviting me to join this tour - one of my most fun stops yet! And be sure to check out some of the other amazing reviews on this tour as well - the discussion is hot for this read!
Happy Humpday friends!