My grateful thanks to the author, Virginia King, for a copy of Laying Ghosts in return for an honest review. Laying Ghosts is a short story prequel to the Selkie Moon Mystery Series by Virginia King and includes a bonus first chapter of The First Lie, the first book in the series. Laying Ghosts is available for purchase in e-book here.
I have a guest post from Virginia King and my review of The First Lie here.
Ghosts used to moan. Now they … phone.
A strange message, a deserted beach house, a shocking incident from the past … Selkie Moon’s life will change forever.
When a text message from a long lost friend lures Selkie Moon to Crystal Cottage, the chilling events from a house-party four years earlier wrap her in ghostly fingers and turn her life upside-down.
My Review of Laying Ghosts
When Selkie gets a text message from her friend Rina whom she hasn’t heard from in four years, she has to respond and meet her at Crystal Cottage, but the message isn’t as simple as it might appear.
Crikey what a short story! Laying Ghosts had me gripped from the first sentence right through until the closing line. At times I found the subject matter of the sexual elements quite shocking but completely appropriate to the plot. The exploration of control and fear that pervades some relationships is incredibly well handled.
It is difficult to express how much Virginia King has packed into this short story of less than 50 pages. Alongside a fast pace and thrilling story, she has created characters that are easily known to the reader, especially Selkie, Andrew, Frank and Rina. Although Laying Ghosts is completely satisfying as a stand alone read, I liked the way there are hints as to Selkie’s character that lay the foundations for the rest of the series.
There’s a real tension behind the plot because of the first person narrative from Selkie with plenty of surprises for the reader too. What I really enjoyed was the way in which Virginia King created atmosphere through attention to the small details so that I was able to visualise Crystal Cottage and the garden in particular.
I thought the supernatural elements were highly effective so that they gave an authenticity to the story without the ridiculous co-incidences I’ve sometimes found in this genre.
Laying Ghosts is not the kind of story I usually choose to read, but Virginia King has made me feel I’m missing out. I found it hugely entertaining, creepy and quite disturbing at times. It’s a brilliant way to be converted to the genre!
About Virginia King
When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came to create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.
Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.