Cover Image: The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones

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When Stella returns from the war she finds her pregnant sister in trouble. Locked away in her in-laws old family house she is experiencing paranormal events – can Stella convince others her sister is telling the truth?

The Lost Ones is a historical gothic horror, set in 1917 just after the very real horrors of the first World War. I enjoyed Stella’s character – an ex-nurse who has seen her husband die on the front lines. Her weaknesses combined with the attitudes of the time give a good spin and interesting take on the horror genre. Not only is Stella trying to convince those around her that she has seen paranormal events but her status as a ‘hysterical woman’ makes it even harder for her to be believed. I also really enjoyed the language and the atmosphere of the piece, it felt realistic and claustrophobic.

However, there were some parts I didn’t find as convincing. The whole book is quite long and it felt very drawn out in places with very little happening. The whole book really didn’t have that much going on – you could easily summarise it in a few sentences. There weren’t many proper twists and turns to keep me hooked and the horror itself was very tame. There was a bit of crying in the night, some moving toy soldiers and a light went out – it wasn’t ‘keep you up all night’ horror! What did happen was also pretty predictable which didn’t help. I think with a good 150 pages taken out of it, The Lost Ones would have been a punchier and scarier read but needed a ruthless edit to get it there. The historical writing of the piece also made it quite hard to feel invested and also to properly feel anything for the characters as well which didn’t help – you felt kept at arms-length throughout.

Overall, The Lost Ones is gothic, atmospheric historical horror but with not enough going on for my tastes. Thank you to NetGalley & HQ Stories for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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In my role as English Teacher, I love being able to spend time reviewing books for our school library which I use to help the students make great picks when they visit us as well as running a library junior and senior book group where we meet every week and share the books we love and talk about what makes a great read. This is certainly a book that I'd be happy to display at the front as one of my monthly 'top picks' which often transform into 'most borrowed' between students and staff. It's a great read and ties in with my ethos of wishing to assemble a diverse, modern and thought-provoking range of books that will inspire and deepen a love of reading in our students of all ages. This book answers this brief in spade! It has s fresh and original voice and asks the readers to think whilst hooking them with a compelling storyline and strong characters  It is certainly a book that I've thought about a lot after finishing it and I've also considered how we could use some of its paragraphs in supporting and inspiring creative writing in the school through the writers' circle that we run. This is a book that I shall certainly recommend we purchase and look forward to hearing how much the staff and students enjoy this memorable and thought-provoking read.
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Wasn't a great fan of this. I thought it sounded brilliant whoch was why I requested it. It was written well but just not my cup of tea :)
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A Gothic ghost story that will grab you from the start. Well written characters with plenty of twist and turns in the tale to keep you interested and turning the pages. At times it is overly descriptive which can become tedious but overall a very enjoyable read.
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I LOVED this very sophisticated Gothic ghost tale that had me hooked from the first page. In my humble opinion, you really can’t beat a clever, evocative ghost story like this.

Set in 1917, Stella Marcham has been doing her bit for the war by assisting nurses in France but returns home in tragic circumstances when her fiancé, Gerald is killed in battle. ‘My grief for Gerald was not indulgent, it was all-consuming.’ Her sister Madeleine looks after her, especially when she seemingly doesn’t stop grieving early enough in the eyes of her mother and doctor.

A few months later, pregnant Madeleine has to go and stay with her mother-in-law in her husband’s grand and imposing family home, Greyswick. Stella, along with her maid, Annie Burrows go there to keep Madeleine company.

It is then that things start to get strange… ‘Either this house is haunted, or I am losing my mind. It’s not much of a choice, is it?’

As in any good ghost story, we meet an intriguing cast of characters, all with one or two secrets… There’s Stella’s maid Annie Burrows who is described as having ‘an otherworldliness to her.’ The mistress of the house, Lady Brightwell and her personal maid Miss Scott who have an unusually close bond and the prerequisite always-ominous housekeeper, Mrs Henge: ‘There are lots of shadows in Greyswick. Mrs Henge seems to occupy most of them.’ Perfectly paced, things reveal themselves at the right moment and the tension builds…

I really enjoyed the strong feminist theme in this book too. Stella is a confident, intelligent woman who finds herself silenced and overlooked simply because she is a woman. Due to Stella’s grief and Madeleine’s pregnancy, the sanity of the women is brought into question more than once, ‘I am sick and tired of men telling me I am unstable.’ But Stella’s feistiness wins out: ‘My vicious tongue with the powerful sting in its tail was the only weapon I had to defend myself’

I adored every page of The Lost Ones; part ghost story, part classic haunted house tale, part murder mystery, all wrapped up in a tone of voice that’s Georgian and modern at the same time – so wonderfully done. I was transported straight back to the era, got chills up my spine reading and could not stop turning those pages until the mystery was revealed! This is a fantastic debut by Anita Frank, I eagerly await her next book! If you love Gothic tales, pick this up immediately.
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Couldn't finish this. Didn't find the language accessible which was a shame as it has lots of themes that I tend to find riveting. Maybe one day I'll give it another go!
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A highly intriguing gothic paranormal mystery novel. I found myself invested in the murder mystery, particularly towards the end. The mystery was rather predictable from the start, hence why I was a little confused by the revelation of there even being a mystery around the 50% mark. Though the climax was similarly predictable, there were odd elements that I didn't see coming. I was slightly confused at the end though, as it isn't really clarified how Stella could see that one particular ghost...
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Set in England and based during WWI you are given an intriguing story. 

Full of unsympathetic characters yet they somehow felt suited to the story arc. 
The characters are portrayed well, and the story flows. 

Quite an impressive debut novel from Anita Frank. It’s like Downtown Abbey with ghost stories thrown into the mix. 

It was the right blend of gruesome and frighting for this historical novel, with plenty of spine tingling scenes, 

The story starts of quite slow but once it starts flowing you race through it. 

Thank you NetGalley 

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Wonderful story. I love period dramas. Creepy thriller that had me hooked. Half murder mystery and half ghost story. Spine chilling until the end. Definitely recommend to anyone that loves to read books like The Woman in Black. Very well written.
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I've developed a thing for dark gothic stories lately, so this appealed to me. I wasn't dissapointed. Although there was nothing particularly dark about it, it was a great little ghost story. Kept me guessing til the end.
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Thanks to HQ Stories and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel for review.

This isn't the sort of book I would normally read, I prefer thrillers or crime novels.

It's set in 1917 and Stella is at home grieving after the death of her fiancee. Her sister, Madeleine, is pregnant and staying at her husband's family home. She isn't settling there and Stella joins her to cheer her up and also take her mind off her grief.
Stella initially dismisses her sister's concerns about the house and strange noises and sensations she experiences. However, soon Stella is hearing them too.
Is there a rational explanation or is the house haunted?

Madeleine's husband brings in a paranormal investigator and together him and Stella, with the help of her maid, manage to solve the mystery.

I found this book quite slow paced and I didn't really feel very invested in the characters. 

Overall, it was OK but just not my type of book.
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A really good read, nice and easy that I finished quickly. It's kind of a Downton Abbey with ghosts. It has everything you need in a good haunted house story - a plucky heroine and a villain and a gothic house. I enjoyed it very much.
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I could not put this book down! It was brill page turner and I loved it! I found the plot fantastic. I also found the characters really interesting. I will defiantly be recommending this as a book club read. Thank you netgalley for the chance to read this in return for a review.
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Stella lost her fiancé during WW1 and is distraught.  She goes to stay with her sister and finds secrets and strange goings on which helps to take her mind off her own misery.  I would have given this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed the story, despite the overlong descriptions of everything.  The amount of modern day terminology spoilt it for me - sometimes I thought the characters were from 2017, not 1917!  It could have been reduced by about a third and would have been much better, in my opinion.  I did enjoy the ghostly goings on an style of writing.
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The debut novel from Anita Frank is full of atmosphere, with creepy moments and great set pieces. 
This is a classic ghost story , with the main character Stella distraught from the death of her fiance, during WWI
Suffering from depression she goes to stay with her sister, Madeleine, at Greyswick Manor, a rambling house that holds a secret and a haunting. Who is behind the haunting and why, is the puzzle that the two sisters feel compelled to solve.
For those that enjoy a simple ghost story then this is a great book that will keep you entertained. A mixture of whodunit and a classic haunting, this is a great book to curl up with, by an open fire (or in my case a warm radiator) and immerse yourself in it's pages.
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A page-turner (or even tapper?) of a story, this one will have you reading into the midnight hours. 
The Lost Ones is a complex tale, but one that is carefully broken down as the book progresses, with the author providing all the reader needs to figure out the mystery, but  not too soon. The setting, during WW1, and the cast - a mix of the damaged and damaging, alongside innocent witnesses - is beautifully drawn and backstories carefully laid-out, one piece at a time.
It's a ghost story, but not one designed to give you the shivers and sleepless nights, but one that will have you wondering and waiting and willing for all to come good.
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Absolute creep fest....! Loved it...!

Brilliantly written; a great little goth horror kinda book with well written characters and storyline! Good pace to it and had me actually scared in places for the main character! Seriously creepy and eerie book, it was fantastic!!!
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A historical ghost story with such feeling! The characters were superbly drawn, the world building rich and imaginative and the story absolutely compelling. I would highly recommend to fans of Susan Hill.
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A gothic ghost story set during the First World War.
In the traditional style there is the spooky old stately home with its quirky design and creaks; the surly, large and masculine housekeeper who appears from the dark corners silently gliding in at the most inappropriate times; the dastardly lord of the manor; the staid Victorian doctor; the romance that ended in tragedy; secrets, mystery and fear; the damsel in distress.

However, the damsel, despite having been treated for an emotional breakdown (depression) is strong, determined and forthright. She sarcastically says why women cannot vote and likes to have a sneaky cigarette now and again. Plus she is set on discovering who or what is causing the ghostly goings on. 

In a similar way, the story is balanced by demonstrating other explanations for the apparent supernatural aspects, which makes the ending less predictable. Although, in a tale such as this, there can only be one of two endings: the ghosts are real or they are not. Still, it is an interesting journey.

There are a couple of stereotyped characters (the housekeeper being the most obvious) but there are others sympathetically drawn. The protagonist's maid is a favourite. She also serves as a contrast to the attitudes and treatment of the different social classes during the early part of twentieth century Britain.

The diction is sometimes elevated in keeping with the gothic literature style but sometimes the phrasing is very modern. Overall it is a well written book and doesn't ramble too much, the descriptive scenes are adequate, the spooky tension is good. The climax is gripping if a little predictable with a nice little feature at the end. 

​A good read, highly recommended.
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I loved this book, it was so creepy and scary at times. I’m not usually a fan of scary books and I’ve never read Susan Hill but, I thought I’d give this a try. I’m glad I did as I really enjoyed it. Although I times I found my mind wandering as I was reading, most of the time I just kept on reading.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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