* From author for review*
Property of a Lady is the first in a series of ghost stories written by one of my favourite authors Sarah Rayne, featuring characters Nell West and Michael Flint.
Michael Flint is an academic living in Oxford and is asked by friends based in the USA to look at an old house they've just inherited. When Michael sees Charect House, he becomes interested in its history and stumbles across a mystery that goes back generations.
Michael enlists the help of local antiques dealer Nell West who is buying back the original furniture belonging to the once grand house, and the two begin to dig into the past together. Nell's daughter is having terrible nightmares about a man with no eyes, the same dream that is terrorising the daughter of his American friends.
Property of a Lady is a modern day ghost story with characters employing straight forward sleuthing techniques to get to the bottom of the tragedies that occurred inside Charect House several generations ago.
Together they discover letters, diaries and other source material that is expertly drip fed into the story in a believable fashion and at just the right time. The connections and mysteries take Michael and Nell to a prison, and to an asylum both of which give the novel a creepy ghostly feel, but mostly it's about unravelling sad tragedies of the past.
I read Property of a Lady at lighting pace, and from a reader's perspective felt it was perfect in every way.
But, decide for yourself! You can read the first chapter of Property of a Lady here.
My rating = *****