I've enjoyed Neil Spring's supernatural thrillers since I read The Ghost Hunters. I love his blending of the paranormal with psychological chiller. In The Haunted Shore, parts of the story have been inspired by the rumours and WW2 legends centred on a remote stretch of coast in Suffolk called Shingle Street.
Although Lizzy grew up in an old Martello tower right on the beach, she has always felt uneasy about the place. After losing her job in London (and owing a huge amount of money to her dodgy ex-boss), she is forced to return to her childhood home. She agrees to look after her invalid father while her elder brother takes on a new job. Unknown to Lizzy, her father's health (both mental and physical) has deteriorated significantly and her brother has hired the sinister and belligerent Hazel as a housekeeper/carer. If that wasn't enough, almost as soon as Lizzy moves back into the tower she begins hearing strange noises and glimpses ghostly figures on the beach. Is she imagining it or is the stress finally beginning to get to her?
Well, this frightened me half-to-death! The end, in particular, was super-scary - no sleeping without the lights on for me! I loved the unusual setting and the way Neil wove the real-life history of the area into the story. His descriptions of the tower and the beach were incredibly atmospheric, and Lizzy was an engaging heroine. I loved the way she was able to conquer her own personal demons too.
An excellent read for Halloween, particularly if you like chilling psychological suspense mixed in with your ghosts!