Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lingering. Many thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for having me on this tour.
Blurb: Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient
commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
My Review: I don’t quite know what to say about this book. I’m not really a fan of creepy stories but the comments I heard about this book made it clear I had to read it. It started off as intriguing, right from page one woth some little snippets and then Jack and Ali’s arrival at the house. It was a strange book right, from the beginning I felt unsettled reading it and then came the scary parts. I thought I deal with them quite well, that was until I left the lovely lit room I was in and walked into the rest of my flat. I have a habit of not switching lights on unless absolutely necessary, something, I think, connected to being told as I was growing up to switch off lights that weren’t needed. If I can see in the dark I tend not to bother using the light but that’s not something I would advise others to do while reading this book. My home is safe, quiet and nothing odd happens but even knowing that, walking into a dark hallway had me a little jumpy and the suddenly creaky bathroom door just made things worse! If you’re the sort of person who reads in the bath I would perhaps choose a different book for that and stick to reading this one somewhere dry.
This is a very unsettling book, it gets under your skin in a different way from others I’ve read. I’m convinced you could read this on a sunny day in a huge, empty field and still feel claustrophobic and like you were being watched. Quite how the author created that feeling I don’t know but it’s there constantly. You can put the book down and come back to it the next day and within seconds of picking it up the unsettled, claustrophobic feeling is back. This is what makes this book work. The writing creates something so believable that you could put anything in the story, from talking cats to aliens to furniture that can move and I would have read it in the same questionning way that I read the actual book.
There are so many aspects of this story, some known at the beginning and others revealed as the story progresses and I think that adds to the unsettled feeling. Most people like to feel they have some element of control over their lives but when reading this book you have no control, you can believe that you know what is going on but you don’t actually know much at all.
I still don’t quite know what to make of this book. I know I enjoyed it, the visualisation I had throughout and the fact that I lost track of time while reading are definitely signs I enjoyed it but I still feel slightly unsettled even after finishing it. This book is going to stay with me for some time. Something tells me I’m not going to escape that trace of underlying creepiness any time soon.
No one has come in from the rain recently so where did those wet footprints come from……………..
About the author:
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and
The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has
dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of
Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.