“The Guest Book” by C.L. Pattison – Book Review

Charles and Grace are on their way to St. Ives. They have booked a luxury hotel and are eager to get their honeymoon started. A vicious storm rises as their train goes through Cornwall and a large oak tree falls on the tracks. They have to stay in a small seaside village named Saltwater. Because all the train’s passengers need a place to stay all the village’s hotels are fully booked. Charles remembers an old B&B where his family stayed as a child and luckily the Anchorage has a room for them.

Grace at once feels uncomfortable in the old place atop a bluff. She is still recovering from a near fatal accident and is on pain killers. Charles remembers the proprieters fondly, but Grace finds them taciturn and creepy.

As the storm rages, their stay at the Anchorage is extended. The power is out and their is no landline phone service and no WiFi. They are completely cut off from the outside world.

“There is an evil force at work in Saltwater”

Grace cannot sleep and she hears a child crying in the night. Charles thinks it is her imagination and/or her painkillers. The place seems permeated with melancholy. Then Grace discovers the Anchorage’s guest book…

This would have been the perfect book to read in late autumn as it has a definite Halloween vibe. The eerie and atmospheric old house, the storm, and of course the isolation make it a “bump in the night” kind of read.

The writing evoked a heart-clenching suspense. You wonder whether Grace’s suspicions about the old place are unfounded. You wonder if the ‘atmosphere’ is created by paranormal or human forces.

This is a book that fills the reader with unease and suspicion, yet the writing didn’t flow as smoothly as I would have hoped.

A ghost story yes, but a crime story too. An entertaining novel that lovers of domestic suspense will surely savor. Recommended for reading on a dark and stormy night…

3.5 stars rounded UP for Goodreads, NetGalley and Amazon

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Vintage Books (Penguin/RandomHouse) via NetGalley.

Publication date: May 27, 2021    Publisher: Vintage/Penguin RandomHouse UK ISBN: 9781529113617   ASIN:  B084QG97F9    336 pages


C. L. Pattison spent twenty years as an entertainment journalist, before embarking on a frontline career in the police force. She lives on the south coast of England.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, ghost stories, NetGalley, Page turners, Psychological thrillers, Suspense and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “The Guest Book” by C.L. Pattison – Book Review

  1. Sheri Dye says:

    Interesting enough that I might read at a later time but probably not a priority read.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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