What’s Ashley Reading?: The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

First line: The day I met Mr. Gellis, I had been walking in the rain.

Summary: Sarah Piper is a poor young woman working for a temp agency in London when an unusual job becomes available. She is hired on as an assistant for a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis, a WWI veteran and ghost enthusiast, is determined to prove the existence of ghosts. He wants Sarah’s help with the ghost of Maddy Clare. Maddy was a servant for the Clare family until she took her own life in their barn. Now her spirit is wreaking havoc on the occupants. With the help of Matthew Ryder, a former soldier and friend of Alistair’s they search for a way to help Maddy move on and solve the mystery behind her destructive behavior.

My Thoughts: Absolutely chilling! Simone St. James is by far one of the best writers, in my opinion, of the Gothic ghost story. She can weave the historical fiction, romance and spookiness together seamlessly. I have been meaning to read this for some time now. It took me just a few days to read because it was that good!

I loved the mystery behind Maddy. No one knew who she was or where she came from. She had no memory and rarely spoke. Then one day she hangs herself in the barn of her employer. That’s when the trouble really begins. Maddy’s vengeful spirit is set to attack any man who sets foot on the Clare property. What happened in her past? Sarah’s first interactions with Maddy were a little terrifying. It literally gets your blood pumping as you read it. When you pick this up be prepared to finish it. Maybe even the same day. Just saying.

FYI: If you like this then try Wendy Webb and Amanda Stevens.

Book Review: Into the Water

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

First line: I was very young when I was cracked open.

Summary: The Drowning Pool as it has been dubbed by the locals is where several women have been found dead.  Julia has not been back to her hometown in many years and rarely spoken to her sister.  However, when she gets the call that her sister, Nel, has been found in the water she has to travel back to take care of her fifteen-year-old niece, Lena.  As the police look into the two most recent deaths of Nel and a young girl named Katie, they begin to discover that they might be connected. 

Highlights: I listened to this as an audio book and was happy to find that many of the characters had different readers.  When there are, multiple points of view listening can be very difficult.  The story was suspenseful enough to keep it interesting.  I liked that several different storylines were intertwined with the main plot.  The chapters are nice and short which make the story move along quickly.  This is a fast read and great for rainy day.

Lowlights: I felt like the ending was a little predictable.  I was not 100% sure with who Nel’s killer was but it was not hard to figure out once several more pieces fell into place.

FYI: Perfect for readers of Gone Girl and The Couple Next Door.