My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sarah Grey has returned to England after a brief time as a model in Paris. She is looking for a new job, but she never expected to be offered and accepting a job as a personal assistant to Harry Price, the infamous ghost hunter. Harry has devoted himself to expose mediums and false hauntings. And, despite being temperamental and neurotic is he also very charming and Sarah can't help but be drawn to him. One of the most puzzling cases for them will be Borley Rectory. Is the place really haunted or are the rumors about it exaggerated?
I think the knowledge that Borley Rectory was a real haunted place and Harry Price was a real ghost hunter makes this book extra special. The author has taken some liberations with the story. This is not a true story, but there are some truths in the story. Sarah Grey has never existed, she is based on a secretary that worked for Harry Price a while. But still, it's really fascinating to read this book and I was intrigued by Harry Price and can fully understand why Sarah Grey was too. Even though as I understand it the Harry Price in this book was more charming than the real one.
I didn't know before I read the book that Borley Rectory had existed and that Harry Price was a real person. Or rather I have a vague feeling that I have known and forgotten about it and it hit me when I looked up the place and the man himself on the net during the time I read the book. Strange how the mind can forget things.
The story in itself was good. This was after the First World War, a time when many people were desperate to make contact with the other side, to know that they were all right. And, many people took advantage of this to earn money of other people's grief. Harry Price like Houdini in America, debunked many false mediums. Arthur Conan Doyle has a small part in this book, he was quite crossed with Harry Price because of his negative attitude towards the paranormal. Conan Doyle believed quite strongly in the afterlife.
This is absolutely not a horror book, more a mystery would I say. A paranormal mystery book. Despite dealing with a house that is said to be haunting was the book never scary to read. And, it could feel a bit long sometimes. I can honestly say that if Sarah Grey and Harry Price had not been so interesting to read about had this been dull to read. But they give the book life.
It's a very interesting book. There are not many big twists in this book, but still the story is enjoyable. There are one big secret thing; Sarah Grey's secret that she hides from Harry Price. But, that never felt like a secret. I don't know how it was for others that read the book, but I guessed it right away and then it was just waiting for her to tell him. And, honestly, I thought that she was a bit too cruel to him towards the end when everything was revealed. Although he did treat her appalling sometimes. In the end, one can say that the case of Borley Rectory became something that bound and tore them apart.
I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!