The Drowning Pool

This was an Amazon recommendation for me, and just 99p when I got it (I love all these Kindle booksless than a quid!).  And it was set in Essex, and still considering myself an Essex girl at heart, you’d be amazed how few books I have read that are set there!

This is Moore’s debut novel and centres around the historical fishing town of Leigh-on-Sea, and the legend of the sea-witch Sarah Moore who died in 1867 (whose name has been changed to Sarah Grey for the novel – perhaps Moore was related to her!) 😀

The story is in the present day and follows another Sarah Grey, widow and mother to a young boy.  She has returned to her Essex roots following her husband’s untimely death and is trying to piece her life back together.  She has a teaching job at a good school and has made a great group of friends – but that could all be about to be blown apart.

After a night of ghost-story telling with her mates, she starts seeing things that can’t possibly be there – and finds items round her house that feel like a message.  is it all in her (possibly defective) mind, or is someone trying to make contact?

It’s really hard to write a truly scary horror / ghost story, and I can’t remember the last time a book actually freaked me out.  This didn’t quite make it either, but it damn well tried hard!

Considering its modern-day setting it was extremely atmospheric, and there were enough twists and turns that you didn’t always know what was going to happen next.

I loved it, it was well-written, the characters were believable, and I kept wanting to sit down with Sarah (the main character) and have a bottle of vino and a chat with her – she showed strength along with vulnerability, like most women do!

I will definitely reach for another Syd Moore book!