A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, October 18, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James- Feature and Review


Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis—rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts—has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide.
Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance—before she destroys them all?



The Haunting of Maddy ClareThe Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a 2012 Berkley publication.

Now, THIS is my kind of ghost story!!

Sarah Piper agrees to step in as a temporary assistant for Alistair Gellis, an independently wealthy war veteran, who spends his time hunting ghosts. He already has an assistant named Matthew Ryder, but the case they are called in to investigate requires a feminine touch. Why? Because the ghost in question, is Maddy Clare, a nineteen -year- old girl who committed suicide in a barn, and she really, really doesn’t like men.

As Sarah, Matt, and Alistair embark on their investigation, the mystery of Maddy’s haunting, and why she is so angry, only deepens, as Maddy’s power grows stronger. To vanquish her spirit, the ghost hunting trio must determine what is behind Maddy’s quest for vengeance so that her spirit can finally rest in peace.

This is the ghost story I’ve been looking for- for ages! I was beginning to think I'd never find one this good ever again.

The mystery is riveting, the characters troubled, flawed, and sympathetic. The story has all the elements a good, traditional ghost story should, with the themes I feel make a ghost story work- and is why I love reading them.

The twists and supernatural jolts are hardly subtle, but there a few surprises that snuck up on me, and really did send a chill down my spine. Good stuff!

The story is rounded out with a romantic element, and gives the main characters room to develop, while encouraging a connection between them and the reader. The shadows of world war one still hang heavily over England, which also gives the story a bit of poignancy and more depth that one might expect from a chiller.

The atmosphere is eerie and extremely intense, and the story is dark, and super scary. Naturally, this book is the perfect story for Halloween, but it could have the same optimum effect on any dark, cold winter night….

5 creepy, ghoulish stars!!






Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two prestigious RITA® awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She writes gothic historical ghost stories set in 1920s England, books that are known for their mystery, gripping suspense, and romance.

Simone wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school. She worked behind the scenes in the television business for twenty years before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

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