House on Cold Hill-Peter James
A ghost story about a house, its ghosts, and a family who buys the house.
I'm not in the habit of reading ghost stories-I really can't remember the last one I've read. I prefer them in movies where there are certain tropes and shock tactics that a seasoned movie watcher knows are coming that makes them a pleasure. I'm not really easy to properly scare-I was always the person who ended in the front of the group of friends in fright houses at Halloween.
James does use some of these tropes we are all familiar with. It's kind of hard to write about houses and ghosts that do not owe a lot to its predecessors but James does it particularly well. I can't go into detail without ruining them but there were points where I was actually particularly creeped out. No mean feat considering that I'm the sort of person found the 'haunted' levels of the university library to be the best place to work, easily shrugging off the occasional electrical malfunctions, inexplicable sounds, and occasional vibrations. So good job James! I also really enjoyed the more modern intellectualized touches (using physics!) as Ollie tries desperately to understand what on earth is going on.
In the end though, the motive of the ghost was unsatisfactory and really, I was not sold on the horror. I suspect though that I am simply not the correct audience for such a novel is all as it is well-paced, believable and interesting.