An English Ghost Story – Kim Newman

This one spent a while in the “to read” folder on the Kindle before I found a suitable tuit, and then took not very long at all to actually read, mainly because of my disinclination to stop reading once I’d started. Of course, it’s now taken a while for me to get around to muttering about it, which is how things seem to go…

Anyway, here we are with a Kim Newman novel that I hadn’t seen before, mainly because it’s not a reissue. It’s not entirely new either – my Google-fu isn’t strong today, so I can’t find the full story, but I gather this was originally written in the 1990s, but not published until last year. Though I might have imagined that bit.

Anyway, this being a Kim Newman book, you can be quite sure that what you’re not going to get is a straightforward ghost story, whatever the title may claim. What you do get it something altogether more interesting, not to mention disturbing.

A nicely dysfunctional family move away from London to a remote house that feels oddly right to them all. The house was previously the home of a popular writer of children’s books, and has a long history of being the most haunted house in the country…

And it does seem to be well, occupied. Not by your obvious ghosts, but presences….

And at first, everything is wonderful. The presences seem to be benign, and everyone is happy. But as the tensions within the family start to grow, and buried resentments start to rise to the surface, there’s a change in the atmosphere, and things start to turn nasty. Very nasty, just as you’d expect from Kim Newman.

Oddly dark, and oddly pleasing.