5bat! Review: Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James

April 3, 2014 Review 0

5bat! Review: Silence for the Dead by Simone St. JamesSilence for the Dead by Simone St. James
Published by NAL on April 1, 2014
Genres: Historical, Horror, Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: References to abuse and sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
5 Stars

"Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow...."

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?

Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.

A brilliant, chilling ghost story, SILENCE FOR THE DEAD created such a vivid world I couldn't bear to put it down. This story is as romantic and terrifying as reading Jane Eyre for the first time, and as soon as I finished it I rushed back through my gothic favorites to continue savoring the tone.

Much of the dread and horror in SILENCE FOR THE DEAD is as much from the realities of early medicine as for the ghostly specters haunting the fringes of Portis House. I cared so deeply for these people, nurses and orderlies and patients alike, I could barely stand to turn the page to more peril and heartbreak and good intentions gone horribly awry. This author won't be denied, however, and I crept page by page through to the fantastic, gothic conclusion.

There is nothing I love better than a world so real I doubt my own instincts, and SILENCE FOR THE DEAD had me second guessing every page. I fell in love with these characters, which meant that I shared both their terror and their triumphs.  A delicious, romantic scare, treat yourself to SILENCE FOR THE DEAD.

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