I read this story several months ago and was asked much later to review. I had loved the story but have short term memory. However, I do have impressions I can relate in this review. I think it’s important to get this out there due to the talent Ruth Barrett utilizes in her story crafting.
I remember how much my mother loved Gothic Romances and as a book lover at a very young age, I frequently pilfered those books when she finished them. Full of brooding men with tortured pasts who live in spooky castles and naive girls with nosy inclinations, the Gothic was my introduction to suspense, romance and even horror.
Base Spirits does not advertise itself as a Gothic novel but I felt that Ms. Barrett wove the atmospheric elements in to the story very cleverly thus giving this Paranormal Mystery more depth and character.
Our main characters enter as modern professionals, a playwright and a Professor on vacation but are soon transformed. Clara is on the hook for a play and behind dead-line. As she begins to experiences frightening visions of the past, her play takes on new meaning. Scott becomes obsessed and moody as each day passes and the atmosphere I spoke of previously begins to pervade the story.
There is nothing predictable about Base Spirits. Combining a grisly murder, ghosts and drama, I felt this story transcended the usual ghost story.
Here is the summary:
‘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
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…
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.