The Haunting of Aveline Jones - Phil Hickes
I hope that Phil Hickes is writing the sequel to this as quickly as I read this first book, as I can't wait to see what comes next for the amazing Aveline in this series of spooky tales!
Continuing my recent spate of horror story reading, this was another hit, and I'm not sure I may not even be turning into a bit of an Aveline myself - a book-lover seeking out new stories to find in mysterious bookshops sounds eerily familiar (I just don't quite have her penchant for really scary stories yet...it's still developing!).
Dark and broodingly atmospheric, this story follows ghost-obsessed Aveline as she is sent to stay with her cold aunt in a seaside cottage in Malmouth for half-term. As the storm outside builds, and Halloween draws nearer, so do other things, and as Aveline tries to find out more about the story of missing girl Primrose Penarthy, linked to the ghostly story of Cora found in the back of a dusty volume of local legends, their paths all inevitably meet in a terrifying stormy encounter by the sea...
With some very creepy moments and characters (the appearance of Primrose by her aunt's fireplace, and Cora's appearance emerging from the harbour waters in particular) this is a truly eerie and spine-chilling story, which had me hooked from start to end with action, intrigue and spooky scarecrows keeping me turning the pages in a race to find out what happens (and to finish before it got too dark!!!). I loved the illustrations throughout the book, adding to the sense of impending threat and danger, and the quotes from P.P.'s diary also added an extra element of intrigue and interest as the story unfolded.
The Haunting of Aveline Jones is published by Usborne - follow them online as @Usborne, or find out more (and read the first chapter as a free download) at https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/16439/the-haunting-of-aveline-jones/
Find out more about Phil Hickes at https://madeleinemilburn.co.uk/mm-authors/phil-hickes/ or follow him on Twitter as @Hickesy
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) October 2020