Thursday 30 September 2021

Book Review | The Spirit Engineer by A. J. West | prettylittlewriter

An eerie, complex and brilliantly written historical ghost story.

Two years after the sinking of the titanic, high society has become obsessed with spiritualism. In Belfast, Ireland, William Crawford is a man of science and a sceptic, but one night with everyone sat around the circle of a séance, something happens that places doubt in his heart and a seed of obsession in his mind.

Are spirits really trying to communicate with him? Or is it just a load of parlour tricks?'
Only after I finished this novel did I realise that this was based on a true story! 

This novel had everything you could want in a ghost story, from terrifying descriptions of the ghosts (and the humans), to the uncertainty of whether Crawford was even really seeing these ghosts, if it was in his head, or if he was being hoaxed.

I was so impressed with AJ's writing, it was complex in places, but I could vividly picture each character and the places he described, and it was also incredibly intense in some places, especially in the third part of the novel. I also found it comedic in some places, with some brilliant one-liners from both Crawford himself, as well as other characters, such as Blithe.

I found that William was a very unlikeable character from the offset, he treats  both his wife and children unkindly, and sees himself higher up the social hierarchy than his peers, due to his engineering role and that he is a soon-to-be published author. My dislike of him took nothing away from the story however, it simply made it even more interesting to find out what would happen to Crawford.

Without going into too much detail as I do not wish to spoil the story, I was completely taken by surprise by the huge twist at the end. Awestruck and dumbfounded, I thought it was absolutely brilliant! Did not expect it all all, and thoroughly impressed!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I will recommend it to anyone that loves a a spooky story! 

5/5 stars

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