Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James
Silence for the Dead
Author: Simone St. James
Published: April 1, 2014
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?
Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.
If you want a good ghost story, St. James provides! I have read multiple books by her and she satisfies every time! Occasionally, she throws in a little too much drama that has nothing to do with the ghost story itself, but thankfully it’s never enough to ruin any of the books for me. I absolutely adored Jack Yates, England’s hero of WW1. Is it weird that I had Henry Cavill in my head every time Jack walked in??
Kitty is a strong protagonist that carries the story so well. I thought the resolution to the supernatural problems at Portis House was a little anticlimactic, but all my questions were answered. Even the things separate from the ghosts ended in a good way that I enjoyed. Portis House is an amazing setting and all the patients were complimentary to the story. I wouldn’t suggest faking a nursing resume . . . But if I find a mental institution like Portis House, I may have to just pretend! And there were many times while Kitty was on night shift that creeped the crap outta me! St. James is the queen of the chilling scenario. I would recommend Silence for the Dead to anyone who likes historical fiction and even occasionally a good ghost story! I very much enjoyed this book.
The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Published: March 20, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .
The Broken Girls has been on my list for quite some time. My birthday was the perfect excuse to get it, so I did. St. James has this wonderful knack for subtlety that just slides under the radar and then once all the anticipation and creepiness builds up, it hits you and then you have to sleep with the lights on. But first, what drew me in was Idlewild Hall. I wish I had an abandoned, haunted girls school in my town. I’d be there all the time! I liked the students and the bonds they formed with each other, despite their skepticism about life.
St. James weaved so many emotions and situations into the story, that at first, the plot seemed to be all over the place. Then, by the end, everything had unraveled and everything was put in its place and made sense. The present tense story line was interesting and had plenty of twists and turns. My one issue and the reason I gave 4 stars, was Fiona’s obsession over her sister’s death. The problem was that they had already convicted someone for her death and he was in prison, so it wasn’t like there was no closure. It just got tiresome after a while. But other than that, this book was a chilling, emotional read that had me in goosebumps. Every thread was tied and the ending was satisfying and complete. I definitely recommend it!