‘I saw my teacher in the queue at the supermarket last Christmas. Miss Baxter. I was surprised to see her. She’d been dead for six months.’ The opening sentences of Cathy MacPhail’s novel are calculated to seize the reader’s imagination – an important requirement for any opening, of course, but particularly so in a narrative in which the imagination and its workings lie at its very heart. Its young teenage heroine, Tyler, has, we learn early, a desire to become a writer and it would seem that with her apparent gift of seeing the dead return to life there should be plenty of material for her fictions. But what, precisely, is the nature of that gift? Does she have genuinely psychic powers? Is she merely the victim of her friends’ leg-pulling and manipulations? As she settles in at a new school she becomes embroiled in some of the spookier aspects of its past history, involving some of its staff and, centrally, one particular ex-pupil, allegedly murdered some years previously. ‘There were mysteries here,’ she comments at one point and solving them becomes her main pursuit as she traverses the chilly and atmospheric corridors of St Anthony’s College and penetrates its darker corners. In essence, it is a ghost story but one told with enough sense of pace and style to bring some freshness to the genre.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2012-01-01 00:00:382022-01-24 11:54:23Out of the Depths