It’s a dream come true for 25 year old Zoe when she and her new husband, unconventional priest Theo, move to the Cotswold hills. But fearsome dreams about a young girl running for her life disturb Zoe and she can’t shake off the idea that a child’s life is in danger... and so is hers.
When two unexpected guests arrive, James and Natasha, Zoe’s friend Alice immediately senses something amiss with them – and particularly Natasha; but no-one except Zoe agrees with her. Natasha embarks on a series of mysterious healings which astonish other guests and convince them that she is a miracle worker. But Zoe can’t abandon her feelings of unease. Then a series of disturbing events hits the centre; Zoe fears that Theo has been unfaithful to her, and Theo falls into severe depression for which Zoe believes Natasha to be responsible.
When Zoe confronts her she is completely unprepared for the terror she is about to face. Zoe will need more than the loyalty and strength of Alice to survive the frightening paranormal forces that are unleashed against her...
A Passionate Spirit is a fast-paced and thrilling novel that will keep readers in suspense throughout. Inspired by Susan Howatch and Barbara Erskine, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy paranormal thrillers.
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SC Skillman's first novel "Mystical Circles", psychological suspense, was published by Blue Lily Press, and is available as a paperback and as an ebook.
"A Passionate Spirit" is a fast-paced supernatural-tinged thriller with a colourful collection of characters and several twists and turns before the final dramatic chapters.
There is plenty of action and sparky dialogue as the mysterious events of the opening scenes start to reveal their meaning.
Some of the themes of the author's previous novel "Mystical Circles" reappear but are taken in a new and darker direction.
by Mike Priaulx
As someone very much inspired by place, the setting of this thriller was very evocative. The serenity of the English landscape contrasted cleverly with the claustrophobia of an American style cult. I took the book everywhere with me around the house when I was reading it - a very rare activity for me - it was so compelling.
by Helen Lambell
This novel creates a good sense of ‘creepyness’ and tension. At times the writing is rather stilted which interrupts the flow of the story but as the tension grows in the second half of the book the writer seems to be affected by her own ideas and the narration fairly roars along. A good story where the ending leaves a thread for a possible sequel.
by Michael P
This novel is a paranormal-spiritual patchwork, drawing inspiration from all directions that are bound to intrigue a large array of people. Ghostly encounters, spiritual healing, mental health, life in show business and sinister cults all play a part in the unusual tale.
The pace is a little slow around the middle of the novel, which would be positive if the atmosphere and tension were more prominent to amplify the sense of mounting unease. Based on the information on the antagonists from the beginning, many characters' reactions seem disproportionate. If some of the revelations from the last act had been introduced sooner their responses would have seemed more justified. But as the action and pace pick up at the end, the emotional stakes are also raised and the characters become far more multi-dimensional and empathetic.
The end of the novel is gripping and will leave you guessing and startled by many of the revelations. It wouldn't be a surprise if it prompted hours of additional research into topics you weren't aware of. This is definitely a book to read if you like unconventional stories of the paranormal merging with issues that are disturbingly close to reality.
by Abigail R
A compelling story with fascinating twists and turns and excellent characters whose often surprising relationships never failed to amaze and hold one’s interest. A really great setting too for the whole tableau of events. Very well done.
by John Denning
When I was asked to read 'A Passionate Spirit' I almost thought that this could be a romantic novel, which is certainly not within my radar! This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I was thrilled to find from the outset that this was going to develop into a sinister tale.
The main characters, Zoe and Theo are very cleverly interwoven with two unusual newcomers, James and Natasha. As the plot progresses, the reader is introduced to a ghostly child who is in danger and several dark paranormal events occur. Zoe's friend Alice plays an important part as the tale unravels and romps to a startling conclusion.
SC Skillman explores the concept of unusual cults and beliefs, which although she has obviously researched, just went slightly beyond the realms of being believable, hence awarding four stars. I will certainly look out for this author again.
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
by Breakaway Reviewers