The Ghost Finders
Journal Stone Publishing (June 4, 2021)
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale
The Ghost Finders begins by introducing us to the main characters: Henry Coxton, an occult detective; his colleague, Violet Asquith, who exercises immense supernatural powers; and Christopher X, an undefinable creature who self-identifies using the second person plural pronoun. The book opens with their agency fielding many requests for investigations, and the audience is provided insight into the peculiarities of Edwardian London. It seems that more people than not were experiencing hauntings. Accordingly, the main trio are also each haunted by their pasts. Henry is troubled by his sexuality and plagued by memories of an ex-lover. Violet’s childhood constantly lurks in the dark corners of her mind, and Christopher’s very existence is questionable and perhaps nefarious.
The story unwinds slowly, until the group is faced with a case that could destroy the very fabric of their existence.
The three main ghost hunters are aided by their housekeeper, Mrs. Hastur, and at times both helped and hindered by a mysterious woman named Sister Rose and men in black hats. Throughout the novel, foes become friends and friends become foes, infusing a feeling of isolation for the trio who care deeply for each other and come to realize that they can only trust each other.
At first, I was not interested in the shifting points of view between Henry, Violet, and Christopher. Then, I was drawn into the rhythm of the altering narration and liked how it increased tension. I came to care for all the characters but was especially fond of Christopher, with his dog-like features, and charmingly dog-like desire to be good and companionable.
Despite its slow start, The Ghost Finders picks up speed and contains some grisly scenes that are not for the faint of heart. This book is a must read for historical horror fans and those who enjoy cosmic horror. I recommend it for summer reading lists.