Thursday 13 February 2014

The Grey Girl by Eleanor Hawken

Ghosts are all in your head. That’s what I keep telling myself, over and over. She’s dead and buried. She didn’t come back.
Published by Hot Key Books in February 2014
Pages – 272
Poor Suzy thought she'd never get over the terrifying events from her time at St Marks, but she's resolved to put all thoughts of ghosts and murders (and school...) behind her as she sets off to stay in her aunt's country estate for the summer. Unfortunately, that quickly looks unlikely. Almost as soon as she arrives Suzy begins to feel watched, and she starts to see strange things. Things like a mysterious grey girl running towards the abandoned boathouse in the dead of the night. Is the girl real - or something altogether more sinister?
Helped by the rather hunky Nate (not that Suzy's letting herself get distracted, of course) Suzy sets out to discover exactly what happened to this girl. She's determined not to let another ghost get the better of her, but she might not have any choice in the matter...
I do love a good ghost story. I loved to be spooked enough that I have to check under my bed before I sleep, not to mention peering nervously in my cupboards for bogie men. Did this book have me reaching for the light switch every time I heard a noise?Mmmm, nearly. It was quite scary, but not scary enough for me. However, when you then take into consideration it is aimed at a younger audience than myself, you can safely say it will probably scare them a lot.
I loved the setting. Give me a haunted house and I am a happy girl. This one reminded me of all the great haunted house mysteries that I have seen on TV over the years. I also really enjoyed the links to The Lady of Shallot, giving the book a timeless feel. If I had to compare it to any book out now, I would say it reminded me a little of Moondial, a popular book and TV series from the 80’s. I can’t say why as that would be giving you just too much information!
I really liked the idea of the murder mystery weekends at the property. That really added to the suspense of the story.
If I am honest, I would have liked Suzy, the main character, to be a bit more ballsy. You can’t see ghosts and tremble with fear in fiction, not when it is becoming a habit and you are the main character dealing with them. I do understand that it was a semi new skill for Suzy, but she will have to pull it together if she is going to cope with more drama in future books. I have her pitched as the Nancy Drew of the paranormal world, so she needs to man up.  Now if we are talking about Nate, he was hot! Yes indeed, he really sizzled off the page. I hope he will be making more appearances in the series in the near future.
On the whole, a good ghost story, with avenues open for more adventures in the future.

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