Henry Coxton, a fledgling occult detective, has taken up recent stewardship of a ghost finding firm, investigating gaslit mysteries in the damp cobblestone streets of Edwardian London. Along with his friends and associates-Violet Asquith, a telekinetic with a mysterious past, and Christopher X, a monster of dubious origins-Henry must work against the clock to solve the agency’s most terrifying case, one that threatens to destroy all he holds dear and perhaps even the very fabric of reality itself. Strongly influenced by the weird horror of Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James, and William Hope Hodgson, The Ghost Finders explores the darkest corners of London’s occult realities.
Edwardian London meets cosmic terrors in Adam McOmber’s new novel of ghost hunters and old gods fighting for the fate of our world.
Henry Coxton is a supernatural detective, taking on cases where no worldly explanation can be found. Taken under the wing of an elderly mentor after a tragic sea voyage, he is taught the occult arts in a passing of the torch to continue the ghost finding business of Coxton & Co.
Violet Asquith is a young woman with a troubled past. Raised by a strict father with a steadfast belief in otherworldly influences, she has the gift of telekinesis, a power that she both covets and fears.
Christopher X, a seven-foot giant with a face he must hide behind a mask at all times, does not remember his past but has found a new family with Henry and Violet. His past cannot remain forgotten, however, as his time with the Ghost Finders will lead to revelations about his greater purpose and terrible destiny.
With the book’s description drawing comparisons to the weird fiction of Algernon Blackwood or William Hope Hodgson, or blurbs proclaiming the story to be gritty and grisly, I was expecting a more somber and eerie story and was surprised when Ghost Finders turned out to be a great deal of fun. There are certainly some tense and spooky sequences, and added splashes of violence to keep things firmly rooted in the ‘horror’ genre, but there is also a great deal of action and adventure to be found between these pages, and I found it to be just as much a fast-paced historical fiction romp, heavy on the big and bold set-pieces, as it is a classic story of ghosts and other ghastly goings-on.
The major highlight of the book is its three titular ghost finders. Henry, Violet and Christopher are all very distinct and larger than life presences throughout the book. Henry, perhaps my favorite of the three, the staunch and reliable friend holding the team together, while self-imposed loner Violet and child-like Christopher are awarded rich and complex backstories which cleverly dovetail together in the book’s big finale. It is a joy to follow these three through the various escapades they find themselves embroiled in.
The things I enjoyed most about Ghost Finders, namely the core cast of characters, and how these disparate and very different individuals are so much fun on the page together, also highlight the only real frustration I had with the book, as the trio don’t actually spend all that much of the books 238 pages together as a team. Events quickly transpire to bring them apart and the group get little opportunity to work together. The scenes we do get of them interacting with each other are highlights and I would have liked to read more of it.
Like an M.R James-inspired melding of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and From Hell, Ghost Finders is atmospheric and action-packed, making the most of its period setting, and excelling in rich characters and unexpected plot developments, resulting in a fast-paced and fun romp through cobbled streets and lamplit alleyways. While McOmber offers the reader a satisfactory conclusion to proceedings, I for one hope that Henry, Violet and Christopher have at least one more adventure in them.
Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.
IndieMuse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.