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Base Spirits [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Barrett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries.

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

‘Murder has took this chamber with full hands
And will ne’er out as long as the house stands.’
~A Yorkshire Tragedy, Act I, Sc. v

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core.

Only one player can survive.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruth Barrett studied English Literature at Trent University and the University of Leeds, Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), and was mentored by two-time Booker prize winner Peter Carey through the Humber School for Writers. During her years as an actor, Ruth performed in a little-known play called 'A Yorkshire Tragedy' sometimes attributed to Shakespeare. The story of the murderous Yorkshire nobleman and his long-suffering wife proved fascinating well beyond the stage... the eerie Calverley Old Hall was explored, and a haunting idea for a novel emerged. Ruth has published numerous short works of quirky and creepy fiction in various anthologies. 'Base Spirits' is her first full-length book, and her suspenseful short story 'Family Secrets' is also available on Kindle. Look for more of Ruth's writing in the future through the Spirited Words Book Co.

Product Details

  • File Size: 500 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453643001
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Spirited Words Book Co.; 1 edition (September 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005L38G8E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first experience with this author... February 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just read Base Spirits by Ruth Barrett. I had not read anything before by this author so I didn't really have any expectations other than what I had picked up from the reviews here on Amazon. My kindle, and some very generous authors putting their work up at reduced rates, has offered me the option of trying new authors and genres that I may not have tried otherwise. After reading Base Spirits I can only say, 'thank you so much' to Ruth Barrett for her generosity in sharing such a wonderful story and to serendipity for my coming across it as I did.

Rarely have I been transported so thoroughly to another place or time that I actually was surprised to recall that there was another part of the story waiting in that original place and time. Strong characters, vivid descriptions and historical detail join together to create a world where I could lose all thought of myself and dive headlong into the unknown and not want it to end. Having to stop reading was a jolt to my system and I couldn't wait to get back to the story and find out what happened to these lives I had become a part of. What evil awaits them in the darkness?

I recommend this book to those who don't normally try this genre but appreciate a well crafted tale, interesting and flawed characters, and a bit of mystery to round things out. I believe that you will enjoy what you find here. I know I certainly did!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be read when alone or at night!:) December 13, 2011
By carolyn
Format:Kindle Edition
This isn't a book to be read at night - so realistic, such a marvellously eerie setting and story - that it will keep you up and reading until the end! And then have you turning the lights on. Best to set aside a day and curl into a chair with a cup of tea and simply immerse yourself in this wonderful tale that twists and turns between reality and imagination. The author's love of Shakespearean times, her knowledge of history and her understanding of the human spirit resound in every word she writes. A superb read and a book I was very sorry to finish.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Put This Down! February 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ruth Barrett takes a true story and expertly weaves in fiction and fantasy and creates a story so compelling you will be reading this into the wee hours of the night.

Very interesting and engaging story told from two time periods, one in 1604 and one in the present. Clara Ravenscroft is trying to write a play and accompanies her husband on a business trip to England thinking she will get some writing done while he presents his research on John Keats. While staying at renovated manor house in England, Clara learns of Phillipa Calverley, a London High Born woman who was in an arranged marriage in the early 1600's,to an abusive man, who ends up killing her children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very creepy thriller... February 16, 2012
By Spot
Format:Kindle Edition
I can't say enough good things about this book. It grabbed me from the beginning and sucked me in to the story. Ruth Barrett weaves an incredible tale of suspense and horror and tragedy. The events of the past are rendered in truly aching detail, it's obvious she's done her historical homework. Your heart will ache for the players in this tragedy of days gone by.

The modern part of the book is also painstakingly real. From Clara's fear and feelings of isolation, to her husband's jealous and possessive rages, the emotions ring clear and true. The book really picks up speed and rushes torwards the inevitable trainwreck where past meets present in a tragic climax.

Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't enjoy about this book. I'm hesitant to give out five star reviews (they're flung out so willy nilly these days that who really believes them?) but this time I will. Anyone who enjoys history, ghosts, possessions, England, or horror in general, is going to enjoy this book. I don't know how many people know who Barbara Erskine is, but her novels are what this book put me in mind of. And I'm a huge Barbara Erskine fan. Which makes me a huge Ruth Barrett fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Debut February 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
"Base Spirits," by Ruth Barrett, is a strong debut novel. It is an enthusiastic and colorful rendering of events gleaned from the 1600s, interfaced with a contemporary woman trying to overcome her own demons--her own base spirits. What lifts Barrett's tale from being just another spooky story in an old manor house and into the realm of the noteworthy is her attention to detail and her insights into human nature across time. The characters past and present are given a full psychology often missing from such books. Specifically, the unspoken cruelty to women that often underlies such accounts is let out of the closet in full force. When it comes to the treatment of women we may not have evolved as much as we think since the 1600's. (Fortunately, the contemporary heroine is stronger than she knows she is at first.)

I do not recommend "Base Spirits" for the faint at heart. If you don't want characters to haunt you after you've finished reading a book, or if you lack the stamina to consider that a little noise you hear in the night might be trying to tell you something, you may find the book almost too much to bear at times. But if you enjoy curling up with a jolting tale (preferably on a stormy night with a cup of hot chocolate), this book is for you.

If I understand correctly, Barrett has other prose projects in the works, and I look forward to watching her prose style unfold. (Here and there, I felt that a speech or description could have been stated slightly more economically.) But it is a distinctive debut worthy of attention. The author has a background in theater, and one could easily imagine the book dramatized for stage, film or television.

Jon P. Bloch (The Kindle Book Review)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well what can I say? How about, WOW!
It's not that often I pick up a book and can't put it down. I started this book yesterday continued to read it through the night and now after I have closed my Kindle I am thinking... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Janus Gangi -Stolen Moments
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascination read of historical fiction!
I have long been a fan of historical fiction. I find this re-telling of the ghost story to be enthralling. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Catty
I didn't really know what to expect from this book, as I thought it was going to be about a haunted house or a possession. Read more
Published on February 15, 2013 by thriller_fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Base Spirits: history, horror, fabulous
Let me say from the outset: I adore `period pieces', aka historicals--romance, semi-bios, fictionalized history... whatever. If it's history, I'm on board. Read more
Published on November 27, 2012 by Beach Bum Books
5.0 out of 5 stars What a riveting ghost tale which feels so real I lived it
I just finished reading this book and still have chills chasing up and down my arms. What a phenomenal read! Read more
Published on November 4, 2012 by Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, really liked this.
I really enjoyed this book. What I really liked is that it is based on a real historical event. I also enjoyed her explanation at the end about how she came about writing about... Read more
Published on October 13, 2012 by Debra Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the novels of James Herbert...
My favorite type of novel is gothic horror; something ghostly without being gory. Base Spirits fits the bill! Read more
Published on July 19, 2012 by Rev Gurley
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual.
Potential **SPOILERS** ahead.

I will start off by saying that I did enjoy this book. It's not among the best I've read, but it is far from the worst. Read more
Published on July 12, 2012 by MaouKoneko
5.0 out of 5 stars HORROR AT ITS ROOTS.
I received this book as an evaluation copy from a review group.

This is the first book I've read from Ruth Barrett ... and what a surprise! Read more
Published on July 8, 2012 by Jeffrey Kosh
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever Ms. Barrett!
I read this story several months ago and was asked much later to review. I had loved the story but have short term memory. Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by Tammy @NovelOpinion
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More About the Author

Ruth Barrett was born in Pointe Claire, Quebec, and now makes her home in Stratford, Ontario. Between then and now, she studied English Literature at Trent University and the University of Leeds, and classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Ruth pursued an acting career in Toronto where her love of the stage saw her perform in everything from Shakespeare to sketch comedy, eventually settling into voice-over work. Transforming herself into a writer has provided a rewarding new way for her to explore character and spin tales. Ruth has published numerous short stories in various anthologies and periodicals, and she formed her own Spirited Words Book Co. in Summer 2011. 'Base Spirits' is her first novel. For a quick creepy read, try 'Family Secrets'-- the first of many Kindle short stories.


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