Welcome to the #HalloweenTakeover for The Lost Ones by Anita Frank. You don’t want to miss this brilliant ghost story!
About the Author
Anita Frank was born in Shropshire and studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Berkshire with her husband and three children and is now a full-time carer for her disabled son. This is her first novel.
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About the book
Reeling from the death of her fiance, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by gear and suspicion.
Before long strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.
Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…
This is how you write a good ol’ ghost story.
Set in 1917 in England, during one of the most devastating periods the world has gone through – the era of the Lost Generation. Husbands, sons, brothers and fathers struck down, whilst protecting their country. In an era where PTSD, shellshock were not recognised as genuine health conditions and trauma considered a weak personality trait, it’s no surprise that grief is waved away as inconsiderate and inconsequential nonsense.
This is where the story starts with Stella. A brave young woman who has served her country and is drowning in grief since the loss of her childhood sweetheart. Grief that has driven her to attempt the last resort and in doing so has placed her firmly in the bracket of unstable.
To escape the prying eyes of her parents and the local head shrink she volunteers to keep her pregnant sister Madeleine company in Greyswick, the ancestral home of Madeleine’s husband. She brings a maid called Annie with her – a young woman who has her own secrets.
The two of them find a distraught Madeleine, who is convinced she is being taunted or haunted by someone, which her mother-in-law and her companion find ridiculous. Is the hysteria catching or is there really something wrong at Greyswick?
That’s as much information as I am willing to give, because readers should experience the read for themselves, both the creepy, the insidious and the moments that are guaranteed to make you angry at certain characters.
The story is set around the First World War, which plays a pivotal part in the characters lives and the storytelling, but for me it was also the only element of the book that was off-key in a way. Why, because it is written with the spellbinding magic of a slightly older era. The skirt-swishing Victorian era, the gothic atmosphere and sense of being taken back into time. I had to remind myself of the year it was actually set in.
It’s an absolutely captivating ghost story, it’s historical fiction, a plot written with a Christie crime vibe and executed with the same kind of precision. I very much hope this is the first of many stories by Frank – she is an excellent writer.
Buy The Lost Ones at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 31 Oct. 2019. Hardback £12.99 – eBook £9.99 – Audio Download £12.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.