The Silent Companions
By Laura Purcell
Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.
With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…Tweet
I'm not usually a fan of ghost stories, but this one had me completely gripped from the first chapter. The writing creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that makes you empathise with Elsie and her situation, whilst holding back enough detail to keep you guessing. The split timelines help to layer and build mystery within the narrative, with plenty of shocks along the way that made me gasp out loud. Compelling!
A really eerie and dark ghost story. Although it started a bit slowly, it really picked up the pace and I found that I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the split timelines and the overwhelming feeling of being trapped in this haunted house -definitely scared myself a time or two whilst reading it. I normally only read modern day supernatural stories, so this setting (in 17th and 19th centuries) was really quite different for me, and it kept me guessing until the very end with some great twists.
What a brilliantly haunting book this is - a great nail-biting gothic thriller with great attention to period detail. Don't read alone late at night...