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Chris High books reviewed

The Haunting of James Hastings

Christopher Ransom

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Sphere (8 July 2010)
ISBN-10: 0751543756
ISBN-13: 978-0751543759

Front cover of the book 'The Haunting of James Hastings' written by Christopher Ransom

Following the huge success of Christopher Ransom’s debut, The Birthing House, his second outing, The Haunting of James Hastings, has a lot to live to and with a fabulous sense of the surreal, a gritty, well paced plot and characters that are totally credible, the author ticks all the boxes and more.

Indeed, to put it simply, this is brilliant stuff.


James Hastings' wife is dead - her life snuffed out in a horrific accident that leaves her husband shattered. Dizzy with grief and guilt, James withdraws into his sprawling mansion, losing himself in liquor ...and memories of Stacey. Until the day two women enter his life. One is Annette, a gorgeous stranger with a dark past. The other is not a stranger, and her past is all too familiar. First her voice echoes through the phone lines, and from behind the ballroom doors. Then her shoes reappear, streaked with mud and grime, as though unearthed from the grave ...And soon Annette begins saying things only Stacey could know, enveloping James in a spiral of terror and violence that threatens to destroy his home, his sanity, and his soul. For death is only the beginning of his nightmare.

A book to be read in one sitting, Ransom has all the fire and guile of the great ghost story tellers and so makes The Haunting of James Hastings leap off the page at every turn. Okay, so there is the odd time when the reader might ask – as you would of any horror story victim – “why would you want to do that?” but this just adds to the tension the author manages to imbue within his tale of a man who is no longer sure of who or what he is.

There is a depth to the piece, also, that outranks many of its peers as it takes on a “life” of its on outside the main plot and questions the right of society to demand that all of its heroes be who and what they appear 24/7, without ever wanting to scratch the surface.

All in all, The Haunting of James Hastings is dark, disturbing and deeply absorbing and demands to be read with the lights within reach once you finish it.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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