Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: Ghost Walk, by Rebecca Stott

Set in Cambridge in 2002-3, Ghostwalk opens with the death of a writer and seventeenth-century historian. Her son Cameron Brown, who discovered her body, enlists his former lover to finish the book his mother began. All Lydia Brooke has to do is convert Elizabeth's notes for the final chapter of the book into prose form. But as Lydia does so, she uncovers a mystery involving the deaths of five people in the late 1660s that may or may not be connected with several modern-day murders that have taken place. Added on top of all this is an animal-rights group, who may or may not be killing animals in and around Cambridge.

The writing style is OK (though a little confusing, what with the mixture of first, second, and third person narration), but there's a lot missing here. Newton's not a very interesting person to write about, and Stott doesn't do the scientist any justice in this novel. The modern-day characters seem a little bit flat, and Lydia Brooke, for all her intelligence, doesn't quite "get" things, even when they're laid right before her eyes! In all, this book was an admirable effort, but not something I'd recommend. Try Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale instead.

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