My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason.
Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?
I've been wanting to read more of Simone St. James books since I read Lost Among the Living a couple of months ago. I love books with either very much paranormal or just a hint of it. And, ghosts I find is a fascinating subject. So, I hoped that The Haunting of Maddy Clare would work for me.
The Haunting of Maddy Clare has all the right ingredients for a great story. A vengeful spirit, a budding love story, a mystery, and great characters. I did find Sarah Piper a bit too timid for my taste at first, but as the story progressed did I find myself liking her more and more and I did like Matthew and Alistair very much. But, unlike Sarah, I think I did find Alistair a bit more to my liking than Matthew, but at least it was not written as a triangle drama (thank God). I think Alistair tragic love story with a married woman and his past experience with ghost hunting just made him quite alluring. Not that Matthew had a less than interesting back story. I especially liked how they met during the war and that, despite the class difference they become friends.
As for the story itself, it was tragic, intense and very much engrossing. I felt so sorry for Maddy, especially when the truth came out about what she had suffered. And, without giving away the ending, was the conclusion of the book very satisfying.
The Haunting of Maddy Clare was a very good book, and I look forward to reading more of Simone St. James books!