It’s my turn on the BlogTour Wish You Weren’t Here by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch.
About the Author
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch (Horrible Histories, Newzoids, The News Quiz, The Now Show) has a background in satire. Born in Pontypool in Wales, and raised in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, she now lives in Canterbury. Follow @Scriblit on Twitter
About the book
The Rook family run a little family business. Ghost hunting. And business has picked up recently. Something’s wrong. It’s been getting noticeably worse since, ooh, 2016?
Bad spirits are abroad, and right now they are particularly abroad on Coldbay Island, which isn’t even abroad, it’s only 20 miles from Skegness. The Rooks’ ‘quick call out’ to the church on Coldbay Island picks loose a thread that begins to unravel the whole island, and the world beyond.
Is this the apocalypse? This might be the apocalypse. Who knew the apocalypse would start in an off-season seaside resort just off the Lincolnshire coast? I’ll tell you who knew – Linda knew. She’s been feeling increasingly uneasy about the whole of the East Midlands since the 90s.
The Rooks are the squad you call when the monsters come calling or something goes boo in the night. A family company that deals with ghosts and other stuff that isn’t supposed to exist. Even they have noticed that there seems to be a shift towards the inexplicable, which also means their business is thriving, but they also know something evil this way comes.
I can easily imagine this as a scripted film/series, because it has a certain chaotic dodge-ball dialogue going on between the characters. Sometimes it makes it hard to follow, but then the Rooks are quite a chaotic lot in general. The whole exchange at the beginning between Darryl, Janusz and the other Rooks, had me like – what, who?
It’s an acerbic, sometimes sarcastic, often witty venture into the paranormal world. The dysfunctional oddball family dynamic lends itself to the theme of the unknown and the lack of control said unknown tends to conjure up. How do you fix something if there are no instructions for it? The Rooks are so convinced of their ability to deliver the goods, that it doesn’t even dawn on them that it could go wrong in any way shape or form.
It will interesting to see this series evolve, as the Rooks venture into more paranormal mysteries. Will the dysfunction, a possessed family member or the conflicted emotional baggage the cuckoo Rook carries around with her, tear the team apart eventually. Or will the ghostbusting team prevail?