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Friday, 3 August 2018

THE SIREN AND THE SPECTRE by Jonathan Janz

When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different, plagued by shadows of the past. And David is haunted too, by the woman he loved, before she took life in sorrow.


I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this very awesome book from Flame Tree Press. And since the day I received it, I couldn't wait to get started.

I mean, look at that creepy, lovely cover.

David Caine is a writer. He's also a big skeptic of anything supernatural. He's stayed in some of the most known haunted places, and published books that debunk the ghostly legends.

When an old friend invites him to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia”, he accepts. He's keen to do what he does best. But Alexander House isn't like all the other houses. From the very first night, weird things start to happen, his neighbours aren't the friendliest lot, and when some of the weirdness seems to tie back to his own past, David will find himself in a very strange position...

Wow. This book is certainly something. Something awesome, that is.

I was hooked from the beginning. Not just because I'm a sucker for haunted houses. Not just because I love stories featuring ghosts. But because I got caught up in the intoxicating atmosphere and the building tension. Plus David is one of those characters that really gets under your skin.

Even though the other characters were quick to point out his (many) faults and shitty habits, I found myself liking him more with every chapter. What others seemed to see didn't match the voice telling this super creepy story. David was smart, charming, and cares way too much about others to come across as the selfish person everyone paints him to be.

It soon becomes very obvious that he's not the careless man he used to be. Even choosing to avoid commitment doesn't make him a bad person. It's his choice. 

Yeah, I'm a David fan. :)

I also liked how no matter what he saw and felt, he still tried to convince himself there was another explanation that didn't involve the supernatural. Stubborn skeptic to the end. LOL.

But he's not the only interesting character. I was intrigued by the memory of Anna. Sheriff Harkless was sassy, strong as hell and very likeable. Ralph was a nice old man I didn't trust. Jessica was such a great character, too. She gave David a hard time and had ulterior motives that totally intrigued me. Oh, and Mike Jr. made me laugh.

Don't even get me started on the unsavoury people who inhabit this story. Let's just say that all the good stuff I mentioned above is balanced out by the shittier ones. I mean, I seriously despised the Shelbys.

The Siren and the Spectre is an excellent horror story with a lot of heart. There might be gross and depraved scenes all over the place, but underneath all of the vivid imagery and spooky location, there's a different kind of haunting going on. The kind of haunting that comes with painful memories and forgiveness.

I absolutely loved this suspenseful haunted house story packed with so much more.

After enjoying this one so much, I'm looking forward to checking out the other five ARCs. ๐Ÿ˜€


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