1/09/2011. Contributed by Sarah Bruch
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls (A Ghost Hunter Mystery book 5) by Victoria Laurie. pub: Obsidan/Penguin. 336 page paperback. Price: GBP 6.99 (UK), $ 7.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-451-23197-0.
check out websites: www.penguin.com and www.VictoriaLaurie.com
‘Ghouls Ghouls Ghouls’ is the fifth book in Victoria Laurie’s ‘Ghost Hunter’ series following on from ‘What’s A Ghoul To Do’, ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’, ‘Ghouls Just Want To Have Fun’, and ‘Ghouls Gone Wild’. There is a sixth book in the series, ‘Ghoul Interrupted’, by now you can probably see the title theme. Laurie also writes another series of books under the series title ‘Psychic Eye Mysteries’. Of the two series, having read some of each, I have to say I enjoy the ‘Psychic Eye’ books more.
This is the first of the ‘Ghost Hunter’ books I’ve read so I might be missing some background, although to be fair, Victoria Laurie does add in a fair amount of background to various aspects of the book leaving the reader feeling not too lost. The series follows a group of ghost hunters and their adventures as they try to capture paranormal activity for their TV show. Think ‘Scooby-Doo’ but a lot more scary. In this particular book, MJ and Heath (the psychics) along with various members of their crew go to Castle Dunlow off the coast of Ireland. They have been invited to attempt a treasure hunt to find some lost Spanish gold hidden in the castle by its founder. It just so happens that this gold is guarded by a particularly scary giant phantom that has been the death of almost all the previous treasure hunters.
This sounds like a good premise for a book, and it is...well, at least it could be, if it had been handled with a little more finesse. I’m not looking for a highly polished piece of literary fiction, but a little more work to correct some errors and writing clumsiness would have been appreciated.
Firstly, there were a few errors which should really have been picked up, for example, at one point one of the Irish characters mentions a pound note. The pound note has not existed in The Republic of Ireland since 2002 so this confused me a little. Also, this book is meant to be set in a small backwater in Ireland, this is repeatedly mentioned; however the American characters seem to be able to get hold of burgers and fries at very odd times of the night.
Character development didn’t really happen to any extent in this book. Two of the characters are psychics but I’m not sure why there are two psychics in the book, maybe I missed something from earlier on, but they both seem to have equal skills so having two rather than just the one doesn't really add to the story. The two girls in the book, other than MJ, didn't really develop as characters and not sure what they were there for at all really. They were so forgettable that I honestly can’t remember their names.
I did enjoy the bits where other ghosts were contacted and had a bit of input. Maybe having a bit more of these ghostly characters telling us more about the castle during the years would have been more interesting. I certainly would prefer this to some of the more inane sections of this book.
This is a fun little book, nothing too demanding, but could be irritating if you want a little more depth in your characters and plot. I did find some parts a little scary but then I was reading it at night and I’m pretty much a chicken when it comes to scary stuff.
This is the first book from this series that I’ve read and I’m not sure if I’m going to be reading any more from choice.
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