Silence For The Dead
by Simone St. James
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 4/1/2014
Rate this book 5 out of 5
“Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....”
In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shellshocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?
Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.
This is a beautifully crafted story which I found to be both haunting and moving. Not only is it full of mystery and suspense but it is also a vivid heartfelt emotional journey of courage and survival.
Kitty Weekes the main protagonist in this novel, is trying to escape a past which is full of fear, torment and loneliness...
When she arrives to take a nursing position under false pretences, at a very isolated grand estate called Portis House, she discovers it to be a very eerie, atmospheric mental hospital for WW1 soldiers. The patients here, suffer from mental disorders or post traumatic stress disorder as it is know today. But they also seem to be experiencing the same nightmare as each other. They are frightened of the horrible experiences of these dreams, but they also afraid of the consequences of mentioning their nightmares to the medical staff, one of which, is being placed in the dreaded isolation room.
Portis House seems alive with its strange eerie noises and ghosts. Only the patients seem to be aware of these frightening events they are experiencing, that is until Kitty starts too as well...
This is such a well crafted book which I could not put down. The more I read, the more my heart races and the more addictive the story became. The story is so vivid it comes alive with each sentence you read. Simone St. James has written an interesting novel which has such wonderfully well developed characters and such a compelling story, both powerfully evocative and emotionally heart-wrenching at times, as well as terrifying with a horrible sense of foreboding at others. Such a roller coaster of emotions.
It was wonderful to see Kitty's character develop into such a courageous person. After experiencing such terrible events in her life, she finally finds what she had been missing, Love, Trust and true Happiness.
As with Simone St. James other two books, this was a brilliant read. Simone St. James never disappoints her readership and as always, I look forward to the next book she writes.