The Evil Within

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Member Reviews

This was a fascinating, make your heart race type of book. It is a paranormal mystery that has fantastic character development in a small village where everyone seems to have a secret. There were a few parts that were slow, but the rest of the book made up for it. Highly recommend. 4.5 stars
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I was excited to read this book, I always love a good paranormal thriller. It started out promising, even if the initial premise was not at all original; personal trauma followed by a mental breakdown and an escape to a secluded cabin in the woods. However, the longer I read, the more I realized that I was to be severely disappointed. 

Again, a cabin in the woods followed by the untimely death of a loved one is hardly a new concept, so in order to make it succeed, the following story line would need to be mind blowing. Instead, I read a very wordy, British, small town version of the Mr. Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King. All of the suspense and tension fell flat due to the author's overuse of adjectives and her tendency to over explain a scene. She somehow managed to not leave enough to the imagination while also leaving me confused due to a lack of information. It seems that sometimes she got so wrapped up in descriptions that she left out actual, necessary details. I was constantly going back a few pages to see if I had missed something crucial, only to realize it hadn't been explained, or at least not clearly enough. 

None of the personal stories or people were realistic, or relatable; everyone lacked depth. Their "mysterious" stories either weren't worth hiding in the first place or just boring. The "fight scenes" were muddled and hard to follow. Everything, really, was hard to follow. 

This author clearly has talent, but suspense is not her forte.
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Mystery murder meets haunting.

The dead can’t hurt us right?
Unlike most books I’ve read like this it has just the right amount, it makes for an easy read and I found myself engrossed and guessing until the last chapters. I find the ghost sweet and eerie at the same time but I found myself cheering for Jim o find out the truth and free the poor souls but can he before someone or something tries to kill him and his friends?
I will be following this author and can’t wait to read his other books and future books.
Thank you to Netgalley/S.M. Hardy/ Allison & Busby for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Jim Hawkes moves to a small village after the death of his fiancé Kat and he quits his job in financing.  He starts to have little things happening around the cottage that he finds strange.  His new friends Jeb and Emma are understanding to his issues.  When he finds out a little girl died in his cottage and he begins to see her Jim is puzzled why she would show herself to him.
If you like thrillers and mysteries you will not be disappointed. This book is so good I could not put it down. It grabs you and doesn't let you go.
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A chilling and gripping story with the right level of creepiness.
Once I started I couldn't put it down and I was fascinated by how the author build the suspense and how the MC faces what's going on.
The author can tell a story that will keeps hooked and the plow flows. The characters are well build and the setting is apparently lovely but full of things that go bumping in the night and mysteries.
The end seems to lead to further adventures and I hope to read soon another story in this series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is my review of The Evil Within by S M Hardy. It is her debut paranormal mystery novel in the Dark Devon Mysteries series. It starts in London but ends in Slyford St James, Devon.
Jim Hawkes had been working at a high powered job in London when one day he walked away on the brink of a breakdown. He got a golden handshake as the firm wanted no recourse from him later down the line and plus he hadn’t handled his fiancee’s death too well two years previously. He booked himself a few weeks away in a cottage in a sleepy village called Slyford St James. It was down in the Devonshire countryside, well away from London and old haunts so he could get a well earned rest from everything.
On the first day, the rain is pelting down so he gets soaked taking his luggage from the car to the cottage. Then he can’t open the combination lock on the suitcase! Next day he sees a young girl down at the bottom of the garden and follows her to the back of the churchyard where he lost sight of her. Instead, he climbed a tumbled down section of the wall into the churchyard and met the vicar. He gets invited into the vicarage for a cup of tea and a chat then heads home. When he hears a banging noise from the loft, he is freaked out and decides to head to the pub for a chat with Jed, see what he can find out.
He soon learns about the owners of the cottage and their daughter who had an accident there and unfortunately died. Hence their moving away. Jed says he can speak to the dead along with Emma and they soon become firm friends. Soon, even more strange things start happening but Jim is yet to be convinced that he can speak to the dead as well. He doesn’t like to share all that he has seen incase is new friends think he has lost his marbles. Then even more dangerous things start happening so he writes down what he can remember and lets Jed read it. 
Why can he see the little girl and the vicar but the others can’t? What do they want from him? What has gone on in that cottage? Who was chasing the little girl? Did they mean her harm?
I found the start of this book to be so suspenseful and creepy but felt deflated by the second half. It was a shame otherwise would have been a cracking book.
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If there's one thing I like doing, it's discovering new authors.  S. M. Hardy is certainly a new author for me but she is now a firm favourite author of mine.  I read the synopsis for 'The Evil Within' and it certainly sounded intriguing.  So without further ado, I grabbed my copy of the book, I grabbed a cup of tea, I moved my youngest Labrador from the comfy spot on the couch, sat down and I began to read.  'The Evil Within' is certainly a read and a half, which I did enjoy but more about that in a bit.
'The Evil Within' is the first of the 'Dark Devon Mysteries' series and it is a promising start to a new series.  The author initially grabbed my attention with the dark and slightly sinister cover, which encouraged me to read the synopsis and the story just sealed the deal as it were.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  I felt as though I was part of the story myself, which is all thanks to S. M. Hardy's storytelling and the vivid and realistic descriptions she uses.
It didn't take me long at all to get into this book.  In fact by the end of the first chapter, I knew that this was going to be one of those books, which I would need to binge read.  I must be psychic because that's exactly what happened.  I wasn't able to read the book over the course of a day because life got in the way, but I did manage to read it over the course of a couple of days.  Whilst I was reading the book I totally immersed myself in the story to the extent that I was able to shut out all other distractions and focus solely on the book.  Usually I have the attention span of a gnat and I am easily distracted but not in this case.  I was so convinced by the story that I began to interact with the book as if the different characters could hear what I was saying.  I know that sounds weird but I find that if I enjoy a book to the extent that I enjoyed this one then I tend to 'live' the story as if it were real.
In short, I really enjoyed reading 'The Evil Within' and I would recommend it to other readers.  I will definitely be reading more of S. M. Hardy's work in the future.  Here's hoping that we don't have too long to wait for her next book.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.
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Oh my goodness!! This was such a chilling, horrifying read that sent chills up my spine and I loved it. Go in blind to this one. All I'm going to say is it was well written and well developed. I can't wait to see what else the author comes up with. This was a fast-paced and riveting thriller that will keep you up at night because who captivated you will be with the story. Highly recommend.
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I enjoyed this book but I felt that it was a bit slow at times and did not immediately grab my interest.  Jim is the main character of the story and he rents a cottage in a different town with hopes of relaxing and enjoying a quiet break.  Things begin to get weird as soon as Jim gets to the cottage and he soon makes some new friends that help him understand the weird things he's experiencing.  Overall I really enjoyed the story and I like the super natural aspect but I felt that some parts of the story were very slow where others seemed almost "glossed over".  I must say that I LOVED the last chapter, I did not see it coming at all and I was taken completely by surprise. I actually went back and reread the last chapter! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a supernatural thriller.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Am I stressed, losing my mind or is a small blond girl wearing a school uniform running through my garden with her dog and disappearing into the mist? These are the questions facing Jim Hawkes, a London banker trying to recover from the tragic death of his fiancee two years earlier. After a semi-breakdown at work, he retires with a substantial bonus and rents a picturesque cottage in the country town of Slyford St James, looking for peace and quiet. But soon the locals are giving him sideways glances and asking if he is living in the “Morgan Cottage?” Before he is warned not to let his handyman Jed “play with his head,” Jim has been told that he has second sight and, more importantly, that six year old Krystal Morgan died in the cottage. She fell from the attic door. The same door that keeps coming open. The attic where he hears small steps running across the floor.

You have the picture. This is a ghost story and a very good one. However, it is also a mystery as Jim tries to solve Krystal’s murder. He begins to have terrifying visions of the killer and sees people around him who may or not be dead. He also meets Lucy, a local girl, and their new relationship helps him move on from his longstanding grief. 

This is a difficult review to write. If you like ghost stories, you will love The Evil Within. If you don’t, or are not sure, read this for the mystery alone. It’s that good. Even if you skip through anything you think is over the top ghosty (and there isn’t much) the identity of the killer and the surprise ending will be a total shock. 5 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, Allison & Busby and S.M. Hardy for this ARC.
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This was my first book by S.M. Hardy book, and it was definitely worth reading! I got into the plot right away as it was both a creepy murder mystery/ghost story.  Jim Hawkes quits his job after the death of his fiancee and rents a cottage in the Devonshire countryside. He is immediately plagued with weird things like locks that wont open, loud noises in the attic, and figures moving out of the corner of his eyes...then he starts hearing voices in his head. He meets up with a local Jed, who claims they are similar: they both hear spirits...but why and who? I did enjoy this book, I found the middle a bit slow, but it did pick up, and the ending....Wow! I cant wait to see where the author goes with book 2!!!!
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Wow, what a debut, some really powerful writing here, a compelling storyline and a great cast of characters, I would gladly read another book by this author. The mystery here is intriguing and as it unfolds it shows that a village community with half remembered facts and suspicions can direct and misdirect. The final 50 pages of this book are breathless in their pace and the toing and froing of the story leave you with smoke coming off the pages as your eyes can't read fast enough to keep up. This will make a successful series and I wouldn't be surprised to see a TV spin-off.

 #TheEvilWithin #NetGalley
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The evil within is S.M Hardy's introductory paranormal publication, and oh, how I hope that it is not the last. 

We begin with being presented to Jim Hawkes, who, for two years after the death of his fiancee Kat, has been clinging on to his city slicker job whilst on the verge of a mental breakdown, where reoccurring violent dreams keep him awake at night.  His life is basically going down the drain and on Dr's orders to de-stress, he decides to take a vacation to an idyllic country cottage retreat in the Devonshire village of Slyford St.James.   However, all is not as tranquil as it seems, and the rage inside him doesn't subside.  There are voices in his head tormenting him, and there are things he sees that can't be real. Is Jim really losing the plot? or are  supernatural forces at play?  To survive, Jim must invoke the help of his new found friends to solve the mystery.

There are a lot of strong characters in this read, and they all play a significant role. 

My first impressions of Jim was that I didn't like this big city guy, drowning in his sorrows, feeling sorry for himself.  But then we get to see the real Jim, and I could really feel myself warming to his personality. 

From the very start this book was cleverly penned and the author really keeps you intrigued in solving the mystery.  The internal dialogue is spot on, creepy, cringey but necessary, and a good, solid plot ending.  

This isn't your typically ghost story, albeit plenty of reasons to make you check every room before going to bed for a while, but connections of friendship, trust and love. However, don't be fooled, I found this to have a psychological element that is dark and harrowing.  There's an evil within that's dying to get out.

Thankyou to Allison and Busby and Netgalley for my copy of The Evil Within, in exchange for an honest review.
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Oh my god! This is crazy book I ever read but was okay...

These characters was different things in life but very spooky from the past..I could tell they had seen everything enough and they knew what’s happened to them was their faults...

Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy....
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I will leave a review of this on Amazon or B&N on Mar 19, 2020

Thank you to NetGallery for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. All opinions are my own

The Evil Within was a well written book, overall it was a good book but for me I just didn't connect with the book. At times it was very repetitive and I thought with some editing of all the repetitive statements it would have shortened up the storyline and made it flow better. I suggest that anyone that enjoys paranormal ghost stories give it a try for themselves, not everyone enjoys the same books.
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If you like your mysteries peppered with all things spooky then this could be the book for you!
Jim is still grieving his fiance two years after her death. He's been going swiftly downhill and, in the middle of a meeting, walks out of his high powered city job in finance, and moves from London to a small village in Devon. Not even unpacked, he starts to witness some spooky stuff happening. Strange noises, things he sees out of the corner of his eyes but who disappear when he moves his head. Determined to make the best of his clean break, he makes friends with Jed and Emma who are also sensitive to spooky goings on and they recognise the same in him and think that there is a bigger reason for him moving to the village. Jim just wants to get on with his life without fuss and bother but it soon becomes apparent that there are things afoot that even he can't fight...
I really enjoyed this book - I do love a good spooky story - especially when it is all wrapped around a mystery, a crime, especially that of a murder... I also love books set in villages as you tend to have a really eclectic mix of people, most of whom have secrets that could be connected to the main story. Keeps me on my toes throughout! Small villages also lend themselves well to the cloying and claustrophobic atmosphere necessary for this type of book to really work and Slyford St James really delivers here.
Pacing was the sticking point for me a bit as I think it lost its footing a little along the way. Beginning was excellent and I thought the set up was well done, then it went a bit astray, happily not enough for me to give up, just a bit of a wobble, and then my perseverance was well rewarded by a mostly satisfying ending. I say mostly, the majority was wrapped up but I think the door has been left open for maybe a sequel with some things that were not quite resolved. Personally I'd be happy to return to SSJ to continue the journey.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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The Evil Within by S.M Hardy ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book is a murder mystery with paranormal elements brought into it. It certainly was a bit different to any kind of mystery I have ever read before. 

The story follows Jim who moves to the quiet village of Slyford St James from the hustle and bustle of London. His fiancee died a couple of years ago and he recently lost his high powered job in finance after having some kind of epiphany at work and walking out. 

He moves into what appears to be a peaceful cottage to try and recuperate but things do not quite go to plan for him. Strange occurrences begin to happen such as things moving, noises in the attic and glimpses of a child who seems to vanish into thin air. Jim is not sure if he is having some sort of mental breakdown or whether these things are actually happening. 

He befriends some locals in the village called Emma and Jed who appear to be able to contact the afterlife. He finds out that a young girl died in the cottage he is renting out and starts to believe that it was more than just an accident that killed her but that maybe something sinister is lurking in the village. 

The story starts off quickly and gripped me straight away. It was quite unsettling and when I went to bed the first night after reading the opening few chapters I was a bit creeped out and kept thinking about incidents in the book. Luckily I fell asleep eventually! However, when I sat down to read more the next day I found a lot of the story quite repetitive and it fell a bit flat on me to be honest. It picked up a bit more eventually and the ending was ok, but it didn’t blow me away by any means. I think I expected more from it as it had so much potential. 

It was still an enjoyable enough story and if you like ghost stories mixed up in a murder mystery then this book would definitely be up your street. It is definitely not your traditional, haunted house type ghost story and I think a lot of readers will find it eventful enough to keep their attention. A solid 3 stars from me. 

Thank you @netgalley and @allisonandbusby for letting me read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Nothing but chills throughout in this super-scary supernatural spooky! If the ongoing chills and thrills don't scare you (they sure scared me), then hold your breath because the ending will blow--you--away. Oh my! I can't stop thinking about it! What a fab debut horror this is. Write faster, please!
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Not for me sadly. But hopefully it will be for the right audience

Thank you Netgalley for.providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Evil Within is a mystery thriller with a touch of paranormal elements. But as the book goes on, there are hints that there could be more. As I've mentioned before, Haunted houses isn't really my favorite across the whole horror genre (but one I can respect). I mean, nothing's creepier lying in bed alone & a hearing mysterious sobbing in your house right? Yup I watched The Curse of La Llorona then decided to read because I couldn't sleep. (Looks like my mind doesn't work by logic at night.) 😅

Anyway the storyline was great, it definitely had its moments. Majority of the characters have a distinct purpose & the part they played slowly unfolding the story allowed a greater connection to be made in the plot. I think if it's made into a movie it'll give me a scare. But in book form? Nah this one I could handle fairly, who wants to read thriller after watching a horror film anyway?🙋😅 Took me an entire evening to finish because as the story progressed, I was eventually hooked. Though the ending didn’t appeal to me much at first. It’s both satisfying & unsatisfying at the same time if that makes any sense.

Many thanks to netgalley and Allison & Busby for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Digital copy will be released on March 19, 2020.
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