REVIEW REVISITED: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
I reviewed THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE by Simone St. James for Romance Junkies last year when the book debuted. It’s one of my most memorable reads from 2012 so it deserves a revisit here on my blog. Enjoy!
Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence becomes an adventure she could never have predicted when she accepts an appointment to meet with her possible future employer. Sarah works for a temporary agency in London and is currently in-between jobs, so the unusual request to meet a stranger in a coffeehouse is overlooked out of desperation. They meet in Soho where Sarah is completely out of place, but the handsome, enigmatic Mr. Gellis blends in perfectly.
Sarah isn’t sure why Alistair Gellis, evidently wealthy, is so enthusiastic about her becoming his ghost hunter assistant. She has no experience for such a thing. How could she? But, it’s not like Sarah has any other offers for income, so she accepts the strangest one she could ever imagine. It should only be for a week while his associate is visiting his sister, who is about to give birth.
The part that terrifies Sarah the most is that the family where the ghost resides insists that only a woman meet with her because the ghost hates men, so Sarah will try to make contact with her first ghost. Alone! She needs to obtain proof by photographing or recording the female ghost. The prospect of the whole ordeal is ludicrous and overwhelming to Sarah. But, not wanting to go back to her dreary life with no friends, no relatives and no men… having felt wanted for the very first time by someone as intelligent and handsome as Alistair, Sarah can’t resist this opportunity, even if she fears it.
THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE takes place in the 1920s, in the rural countryside of England. Immediately attracted to World War I veteran Alistair Gellis, Sarah doesn’t expect to also be attracted to Alistair’s scarred, overbearing associate, Matthew Ryder, when he can’t seem to stay away from this ghost hunt either. Staying at the local inn proves to add its own obstacles as the small town locals aren’t exactly excited to have ghost hunters snooping around. Besides, they’ve already assumed Sarah’s relationship with the two men isn’t respectable in some way, which creates even more tension.
Each man will establish their value to Sarah when she dives into the most haunting experience of her life. The sexual tension oozes delicately amongst the aura of mystery, almost ghost-like in itself. So good!
Be prepared to read this novel from cover to cover in one sitting, or face the consequences. The suspense will call to you and the character’s experiences will taunt your thoughts until you have time to get back to it. The only thing I could think about when I finished is that I hope author Simone St. James writes more ghost stories so I can gobble them up. I loved the historical time period too – it was the perfect era for a ghost story without overpowering the mystery.
Author Simone St. James has an entrancing voice that mesmerizes from beginning to end. THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE is fine writing at its best, filled with fascinating characters and unrivaled suspense in a gothic setting guaranteed to spellbind. This novel is a superb ghost hunting story, unlike anything I’ve read in years. The mounting anticipation is riveting. The time period and setting add to the mystery, and there’s a wicked-sexy love story. Add all that up and you get more than a perfect book for those of us who are passionate about several genres. Don’t miss it!
Don’t miss An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James – read the review here at TBR Mountain Range.
What’s on your mountain?