The problem with reviewing books is twofold: firstly it makes me spend too much money, but, more importantly, it means that some of the books that I really want to read get pushed out of the way by others; The Lingering is such a book.

I knew it was going to be good not only because I’d heard so much about it on Twitter, but also because it’s published by Orenda - a sure sign of a terrific read if ever there was one. The setting of Rosalind House, a former asylum, is sufficiently isolated that it becomes the stuff of gossip and legend in the nearby village, and thus transforms itself into that “scary house” from my childhood; the place that I’m sure lots of us know of, that either caused us to cross over the road when passing it, or heard stories about it being haunted. Though in The Lingering we probably get more evidence of it than we did back then! It does feel isolated though, almost other-worldly, from the start as Jack and Ali pass through “the bleak but beautiful landscape” to find the house and are met by the sound of choral singing from the other residents. This coupled with the extract from The Book of Light that gives “guidelines for a Light & Bright Existence serve to show that the community that Jack and Ali are about to enter is somewhere separate from their previous life.

And thus we’re faced with the first question of why they have chosen to enter such a place, especially when in the second chapter Ali says “How dare he be so calm about all this? After everything he’s put them through?” - just what exactly are they (and everyone else for that matter) running from? And why, oh why, after the “happenings” do they all not just turn on their heel and run?! No, I know that, not everyone believes in ghosts, in hauntings, but I’m telling you now if that happened to me in the bath, I might not even stop for my towel!! For indeed, Rosalind House, is as creepy a place as the Overlook Hotel, full of seemingly malign spirits intent on harm who focus their intentions on Ali. This unease is enhanced by Angela’s secret sneaking, hunting for evidence of ghosts by placing monitoring devices through the floorboards of Ali and Jack’s room.

There’s no doubt about it, this is a brooding tale of secrets and danger; reminiscent of those gothic tales of old. I loved The Lingering, though I will admit to choosing a time when the house was full rather than wait til I was on my own to read it - good job too!