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Publisher's Summary

A gripping mystery with a classic feel: And Then There Were None meets The Silent Companions.

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one.... 

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling listen this winter.
 

©2018 W. C. Ryan (P)2018 Bonnier Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Almost unbearably creepy and beautifully written." (Liz Nugent, best-selling author of Lying in Wait)

"A splendid tale of wartime skullduggery, featuring both kinds of spooks - perfect fireside reading." (Mick Herron, CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning author of Dead Lions

"Hugely enjoyable, A House of Ghosts has the bones of a taut thriller wrapped up in the gorgeous romance of its ghostly island setting." (Jane Casey)

What listeners say about A House of Ghosts

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  • Marleen
  • 30-05-2019

Wonderful story, great narration.

As wonderful spoken as it was to read. Hearing the accents really added to the story.

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  • Marina Rose
  • 29-01-2019

I want more

Fantastic story. I did find the narrators voices for the different characters a little grating at time but it didn’t distract me too much from the mystery of the spirit laden island. I want more of Kate and Donovan, so I hope William Ryan is currently penning the sequel.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Marple
  • 23-11-2018

A Winter Cracker

A great book and listen. I don't usually enjoy books with war as a subject matter but this was so much more and I'm glad I gave it a go. There's wonderful characters, intrigue, suspense, mystery, romance and a bit of supernatural. All this plus it takes place in a house with secret passages that's been cut off from the world by storms, what's not to love. Very atmospheric, well written and narrated. I'm hoping for a second book with Kate and Donovan but it will be tough to follow up this one.

9 people found this helpful

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  • SamantaSienna
  • 04-08-2019

Agatha Christy-esq murder mystery

Absolutely loved this story. It’s part ghost story,part murder mystery,part World War One thriller. The two main characters are quite endearing as are the rest of the characters, a wicked old German woman, some soldiers and some officers, some frivolity and some ptsd all in the best possible British humour and guns ho spirit. I wanted it to go on forever. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WW1 history, spy novels, Agatha Christy fans or anyone who has never read a spy novel or a murder mystery or a good old ghost story but wants to try them out. I really enjoyed both listening to this and reading it. I like the narrator doing all the different voices. Some of which made me giggle!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Teed
  • 11-04-2020

Good listen

Good all round book, I did listen to the end - which for me is unusual, good characters but I think a little more could have been done with them. Not as good as The Inspector Hobb series, Sydney Grice, Inspector Grey or Rosie Strange only because the characters were not as well padded. Hope that makes sense. But good.

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  • springerlady
  • 06-12-2019

a good listen

good narrator..really quite scary in places..glad I listened. would recommend if you like the supernatural

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 11-11-2019

A good start but boring tale

TLDR: Read the first 10 pages and the last 10 pages the rest is a waste of time. The idea of the story is good, what if ghosts can come back from beyond the grave to talk to their loved ones. Unfortunately the story decides very quickly that ghosts are real and the several people in the house can see them. That removes the supernatural element as being remotely relevant to the plot. Then we get to the "Murder" which is barely dealt with at all. No working out alibis, no gathering clues , no legwork to track down an explanation of events. Oh dear. Then we have the pastiche of espionage. Is someone in the house a spy? Who knows the plot certainly doesn't dwell on it for long. In short a promising setup ruined by cardboard characters (a flighty female sidekick, a patriotic arms producer and a pair of am-dram level mediums), a plotline that can't decide if it's a mystery, a ghostly tale of suspense, a spy thriller or a third rate war adventure. The story lurches from stock cliche to stock cliche and never gets properly going.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sararara
  • 30-09-2019

Almost a really really good book.

A country house mystery set during the Great War with both supernatural and government spooks- what’s not to like? Shades of a contemporary Dennis Wheatley. In the first half, the sense of time and place was beautifully drawn, and the characters were distinct and intriguing. But the second half lost momentum as the ghosts were relegated to mere onlookers in a wartime drama. Such a shame. I love the narrator (since Evelyn Hardcastle) but Kate needed a more clipped Celia Johnson accent.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-2019

Fantastic story

I loved this story, it kept me guessing and the touch of romance was subtley done. The narrator was excellent and listened to this in a couple of days.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mis
  • 22-06-2019

Slow start but give this a chance

I enjoy period setting ghost mysteries and this ticks all the boxes. It balances cliché and new ideas well. Isolated island in a storm and cast of secretive characters but also an interesting ghost lore and unexpected interactions with them. I get pulled in everytime I listen. This is one of the stories I judge other stories of the same genre by. It is a slow start but as soon as the séances start it rolls along at a perfect pace. I hope this is the start of a series with Kate and Donovan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • chris cain
  • 21-06-2019

Who dunnit?

I liked this book more than I expected and picked it because of peoples reviews rather than the synopsis, so thanks fellow reviewers! The story was great and a real “page turner” and keeps a good pace, it wasn’t too silly with the supernatural element which i liked. The range of voices left you in no doubt who was speaking, although I found it kept going quiet then loud? Not sure if was the narrator speaking quieter or the production? Still didn’t spoil it too much!

1 person found this helpful

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