Who would you rather have as a playmate: a nine-year-old ghost or a father who broke your arm?
Yasmin’s mum Bridget is desperate to get them out of London and away from her violently abusive husband Kieran. So she’s glad to be offered the housekeeping post at Rospetroc House on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor. But they’ve barely settled in when strange things begin happening. Figurines turn around. Footsteps clatter in the absence of living feet. The extra bed in Yasmin’s room looks as though someone has slept in it. And Yasmin shares conversations with young Lily, who isn’t really there. Or is she? Just as scary, Kieran is making serious progress in tracking them down. As the house pranks escalate and Kieran draws closer, Bridget wonders whether she and Yasmin will ever be safe. It’s the same thought that has worried their nine-year-old familiar, an unloved evacuee sent to wait out the Great War in the safety of the country, only to find there Hughie, who tormented her, and his besotted mum, who locked her in closets for deeds the lad had committed. Snow isolates the house. Yasmin and Bridget barricade themselves in. Past and present menace looms. And vengeance is left to the sorely tried Lily.
Lock the doors, draw the curtains and hunker down. This is one scary read from an author (Simply Heaven, 2006, etc.) perfectly capable of raising goose bumps even in summer months.