Title: Chasing Ghosts
Series: Quentin Strange Mysteries: Book One
Author: Dean Cole
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 241 Pages
Category: Paranormal Suspense, Mystery
At a Glance: While the pace of the storytelling was a bit uneven at times, the highs are exhilarating and well-written, especially the ghostly encounters and the lead-up to the Big Reveal.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Haunted pasts. Terrifying apparitions. Dark secrets.
Quentin Strange is … well, strange. But it isn’t just his anachronistic sayings and dress sense, the fact that he’s a socially awkward, book-loving loner who’s possibly still a virgin at nearly thirty. He’s seeing and hearing things. Odd things. Ghostly things.
Getting the gig as photographer for The Cricklewood Gazette, he travels with his new partner, journalist Katrina (make sure you call her Kat) Brannigan, to Hilderley Manor, an enormous manor house nestled in the remote countryside of Northern England that is believed to be one of Britain’s most haunted buildings. The pair join a ghost hunting team and a group of fellow guests for a long weekend of ghostly activities.
But something dark haunts the draughty corridors of the house. And it links to a decades-old mystery that is about to be uncovered.
Review: A weekend visit to what is alleged to be the most haunted place in all of England not only offers up a few chilling encounters of the esoteric variety but exposes a decades-old murder as well, which is revealed to newly-minted photojournalist, Quentin Strange, in some terrifying ways. Quentin didn’t set out to be the hero of this story—or any story, for that matter—when he landed the assignment to shadow a team of ghost hunters at Hilderley Manor, to try to capture definitive photographic proof of the paranormal. Or to disprove it, whichever the case would be.
Dean Cole’s Chasing Ghosts is, overall, an entertaining read for those who love a Gothic ghost story, the ‘overall’ qualifier due to some pacing issues I experienced. I found that to be a bit uneven at times, albeit the highs in the story are exhilarating and well-written, especially the ghostly encounters and the lead-up to the Big Reveal. But there are also some deep navel-gazing dives into the spiritual and symbolic along the way that, while some of it interesting, didn’t drive the story for me. Though some readers may find that a welcome relief from the tension, it wasn’t necessarily relevant to my enjoyment of the book.
While there isn’t a romantic arc in Chasing Ghosts, there is the hint of relationship potential for Quentin when he meets an author, Will Anderson, who has booked himself on the ghost-hunting weekend to do research for his latest work in progress. Will proves to be a bit of an enigma with something of the bad boy about him, which Quentin finds impossible to ignore or resist, especially when Will becomes Quentin’s hero during the climactic part of the story. Though they go their separate ways in the end, they will meet again. That much is guaranteed.
The supporting cast is rounded out by the ghost hunters themselves, a psychic medium, the house– and groundskeeper, and the other guests booked at the manor for the weekend, some playing an integral role in the story while others merely fill in the scenery, but the true supporting star is the danger and melancholy, the unease and regret, that is pervasive throughout. The anguish is unmistakable, and sets the tone of foreboding in this story of murder and injustice, just as it should. The resolution to the murder mystery is, itself, exceptionally heartrending.
This is all Quentin Strange’s story, from start to finish, the other players there to support (or hinder, as the case may be) his journey. He has spent the past decade mourning a loss that torments him daily, the depths of which catch up to him in a poignant and yet heart-mending way. Getting there is all the battle, and I enjoyed it. Quentin’s partner, Kat Brannigan, lands the journalistic coup she was hoping for when she took this assignment, which means we will now see her, Quentin, and Will (based on the cover of the next book), off on a new assignment and another spooky adventure in Capturing Magick. I look forward to their continuing adventures, especially now that Quentin has discovered some things about himself that should make future paranormal encounters all the more interesting.
You can buy Chasing Ghosts here:
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