- Paperback: 299 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (February 1, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1977001246
- ISBN-13: 978-1977001245
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,721,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The General Theory of Haunting Paperback – February 1, 2018
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In somewhat of a similar style to his BBC work he opens with an introduction to his contemporary (the book takes place in two centuries) characters with an invitation – ‘FROM: Lucy Knights, Greg Knights DATE: 14th October 2018 ATTN: All Knights & Knights staff Hi everyone, As you know, next December 31st will mark eighteen years since the founding of Knights & Knights, so we’d like you to join us in celebrating this historic birthday - the company is officially an adult! We are constantly thankful for all your loyalty and commitment to K&Ks. For just fourteen staff we believe we punch way above our weight, and we wanted to reward you all with a New Year you’ll never forget. To that end, we have been lucky enough to book Marryman Hall, a nineteenth century residence in Dorset, from 29th December to 1st January (late checkout, don’t worry!) See the attached link. It looks beautiful. We therefore invite you all to see in the New Year with us and before you ask, we’re taking care of everything - the rental, food, drink and entertainment. We do hope you can join us. It will be a New Year’s like no other, we’re sure. Greg and Lucy Knights’ Add some light hearted discussion - ‘Have you noticed it’s snowing rather a lot? We’re going to be trapped in there. Like a bloody Agatha Christie, except I can tell you who the murderer’s going to be: me. In the study with the candlestick, Patrick on the floor. Holiday Villa brochure stuck in his head.” “You’re mixing up Agatha Christie and Cluedo.” “Deliberately,” she said. “Deliberately because I knew you’d pounce on it. It’s cute. You are an open book to me, Mr Hatton. You are impeccably predictable, you know. It’s one of the reasons I love you.”and we are off on one of the better haunted house thrillers to appear in some time.
The plot summary helps map the course – ‘Every haunting has a design… Winter, 1809. Lord Francis Marryman’s wife, Patience, is dying. In the madness of his grief, desperate to keep Patience’s memory alive, he’s compelled to build a memorial in the form of a remote country Hall. But as the plans move forward, Marryman Hall seems to become alive with more than just memories. Francis, a brilliant mathematician and scholar, has built more into the walls than just bricks and mortar. Autumn, 2018. Siblings Greg and Lucy Knights, owners of K&K Publishing Company, are seeking a venue to celebrate the 18th anniversary of their company’s inception. At such short notice, there is only one option that still has vacancies: Marryman Hall. Winter arrives and as heavy snow falls, the guests drop out until a much depleted party of just 6 reach their destination and soon find themselves snowed in. As the guests’ private lives and demons are exposed in the increasingly awkward, claustrophobic atmosphere , the secrets of Marryman Hall and her history are also brought into shocking light from the darkness. In his grief, it’s possible that Lord Francis Marryman may have made a terrible mistake…’
Sounds like a recipe for a terrific ghost story – but it is far more than that. Richard’s writing style is captivating and he understands very well how to build suspense and dark atmosphere, weaving in clues and patterns that make the revelations of this haunted house tale and the impact on the original characters as well as the 2018 cadre a treasure! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, June 18
I loved the basic premise – a haunted centuries old hall where party guests are stranded by the snowy winter. Add in some unexpected “supernatural” guests, and you have the formula for a spooky story. Take these elements and add in wonderful writing and you have a winner!
The entire novel is cast with an ominous mood that left me feeling thoroughly creeped out – in an enjoyable way. I desperately wanted to get to the end so I could know the answers, but I enjoyed the ride all along. Alternating between the events of 1809 that led to the building of this prestigious hall and modern times, readers will be invested in the plot of the entire novel.
There is more to Marryman Hall than its odd setting. This venue for the 18th anniversary of Knights & Knights even has mysteries built into its design. Richard Easter starts to build a sense of foreboding early on, introducing characters and giving glimpses into their strengths and weaknesses. The early chapters carry much of the exposition, but the author continues to take the reader back to the nineteenth century to slowly reveal Lord Marryman’s motives.
At its core, this is a story of tragic and sudden loss, a deathbed urging, and the lengths to which one will go for love. Is Marryman gripped by madness, or is he simply a man who sees more than his peers, scholars and clergymen are capable of seeing?
The General Theory of Haunting is bold and surprising. Easter’s characters are fleshed out, and the conversations are never dull. He expertly builds the terror, knowing just the right moments to pull the characters and the readers back from the brink. Every sound, every word might be meaningful, and as you try to decide, you will find yourself engrossed by this tale.