Book Review: THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE by Simone St. James

HauntingMaddyClare
Publisher: NAL Trade
Released: March 6, 2012
Source: Purchased paperback
Rating: ★★★¼


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 love reading about the time period between the World Wars, which is when THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE is set. The book started out strong as a spooky ghost story/mystery. The main character, Sarah, gets a temp job working for Alistair Gellis, a ghost hunter. They travel to a remote village in the English countryside, where Sarah ends up at the mercy of a very trouble ghost named Maddy. She, Alistair, and his assistant Matthew must uncover Maddy’s tragic past and find out why she’s still stuck in this world.

The mystery surrounding Maddy was intriguing and rather sad, but not too hard to figure out. The mystery could have been stronger, but that story line derailed somewhat with the strained romance (if I could call it that) between Sarah and Matthew. Matthew’s character just wasn’t as developed as Sarah’s, and I didn’t feel the chemistry between them.

Overall, I thought THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE was a good, not great, start to the series, with some very creepy moments. The 1920s time period fit well with this Gothic ghost story.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE by Simone St. James

  1. This is a book I’ve had on my Kindle for awhile but haven’t read yet. It sounds like a good read. It does sound like the author should have stuck to the mystery/ghost story line and left the romance alone. Thanks for sharing! This sounds like an interesting if flawed read.

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