The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy ClareThe Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Published by Berkley Books on March 6th 2012
Pages: 318
ISBN: 0451235681
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A hauntingly good book that delivers with chills, creepy scenes and mystery!

Alistair Gellis, a ghost hunter, has hired Sarah Piper from a temporary agency. Initially Sarah is concerned but finds she is also intrigued by the sense of adventure and the handsome man who proposes an eerie job description to her. Low on funds, and intrigued, Sarah finds that she cannot refuse the position as she needs the money. She isn’t sure if ghosts even exist, but money is money, so she agrees to help him investigate the ghost of Maddy Clare.

Maddy Clare was a nineteen-year-old woman who committed suicide after regaining her memory. Years earlier, she showed up at the Clare home late one night covered in mud, traumatized, injured, and brutalized. She could not speak and eventually became a member of the household. She was frightened of men in life and is not too keen on them after death.

After her suicide, Maddy has been haunting the Clare barn. Mrs. Clare has hired Mr. Gellis to essentially get rid of Maddy’s ghost but insists that a woman must go into the barn alone to ask Maddy to leave as Maddy does not like men. Sarah is frightened but agrees to enter the barn and finds that Maddy’s angry and vengeance seeking ghost does indeed inhibit the barn.

Alistair, Sarah and Matthew (Alistair’s other assistant) attempt to learn more about Maddy Clare’s short, tragic life, her suicide and why she wants revenge. As Matthew and Sarah form a relationship, it becomes clear that Maddy’s anger is increasing, her need for vengeance is intensifying and there may be those in town who know more than they are willing to admit.

I found this to be a very good ghost story. It has creepy moments but is not what I would scary. It is atmospheric at times. The story is full of suspicious townspeople, and those who want to keep the truth about Maddy a secret. I felt as though I was just as invested in finding the truth about Maddy Clare as the three ghost hunters. There are quite a few haunting scenes which help move the story along and draw the reader in. There is a sense of dread as night falls and birds take flight! Just what is it with crows and scary books? This book has a little bit of everything – paranormal elements, romance, suspense, mystery – and balances them all nicely.