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The Lingering

Published Date: 25th June 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374540
£5.99
15 November 2018
Paperback
9781912374533
£8.99
15 November 2018

Description

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

 

‘Saunters from creepy to genuinely terrifying … I was completely unable to put it down’ Elizabeth Haynes

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‘In the new wave of gothic novels, The Lingering is a stand-out triumph’ Eva Dolan

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The Lingering is an atmospheric chiller of a book, full of secrets and shadows. The house at the heart of this spine-tingling story looms as large as its impressive cast of characters. Holliday’s evocative writing is reminiscent of early James Herbert’ Fiona Cummins

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’Cements Holliday’s position as one of the most gifted and entertaining psychological thriller writers in the business’ Steve Cavanagh

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‘Brilliantly chilling and perfectly paced’ Anna Mazzola

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‘Fascinating fusion of murder mystery and ghost story. Blood-chilling from beginning to end’ Paul Finch

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‘One of the most original ghost stories I have ever read’ Cass Green

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‘A perfect twisted read’ Amanda Jennings

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‘Like Stephen King meets Thomas Harris’ Derek Farrell

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‘A vivid setting, stunning twists and surprising, unsettling characters’ Louise Voss

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‘Read with all the lights on’ Crime Fiction Lover

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‘A serious spine-chiller from an exceptional talent’ Chris Whitaker

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‘Tense and chilling, with a creeping sense of unease’ Neil Broadfoot

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‘Perfectly paced and guaranteed to cause you sleepless nights for all the right reasons. Fans of Susan Hill and Andrew Taylor, take note’ David Mark

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‘Perfect modern-day Hitchcockian suspense’ Steph Broadribb

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‘Creepy, unsettling and all-consuming’ Jenny Blackhurst

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‘The QUEEN of creepy story-telling’ TripFiction

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‘Nerve-shredding and genuinely chilling’ Random Things through My Letterbox

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‘Spooky, compelling and chilling’ Jane Isaac

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‘Dark as the darkest night and wonderfully disturbing’ Grab this Book

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‘Deliciously gothic and supernatural with an added coercive edge’ The Book Trail

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‘A fascinating premise, strong writing and creepy as…’ Michael J. Malone

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‘Eerie and unsettling, with a bittersweet beauty’ Fergus McNeill

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‘Unnerved me right from the start’ June Taylor

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’A brilliant combination of psychological thriller and ghostly mystery’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘A perfect winter read’ Lisa Gray

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‘An unsettling tale of haunting … that lingers in the mind’ Mason Cross

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‘A relentlessly unnerving mystery – like shuffling footsteps from a long-locked attic’ Matt Wesolowski

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‘Gets under your skin and stays there’ Quentin Bates

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‘When Ali starts experiencing inexplicable visions and events, things take a terrifying turn. Utterly beguiling and darkly sinister, this superb Gothic ghost tale is a brilliantly crafted rug puller’ Lisa Howells, Heat Magazine.

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Susi is featured in the Daily Record, an article talking about Susi getting married in an abandoned Asylum, in line with the release of The LingeringDaily Record

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‘A thrilling, chilling, shocking tale, perfect if you take delight in an icy shiver scuttling down your spine. A couple leaves their life behind them to join a commune in a former psychiatric hospital, events soon start to spin terrifyingly out of control. The prologue pounced on my imagination, I was immediately hooked and remained so until the very last page was turned. Several different characters take their turn in the spotlight in the present day, while a journal from the past casts a further shadow over proceedings.  S.J.I Holliday weaves the different strands of the story together beautifully, each settling over the other while twisting thoughts and feelings. As I read my reasoning teetered one way and then the other. A supernatural presence heightens the tension further and my mind and heart fairly skittered in anticipation at what was to come. The Lingering is an exquisitely eerie tale, and I loved every single word of it’ The Lingering was selected as one of LoveReading’s 10 books of the month. LoveReading

Author

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and the festive serial killer thriller The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, inspired by her fascination and fear of ghosts. You can follow Susi on Twitter @SJIHolliday or visit her website: sjiholliday.com.

Online Reviews

‘The author cleverly and authentically delves into the mind of the psychopath, and how evil genius can affect and control a previously perfectly normal person. It is chilling and dark, yet utterly and completely compelling throughout. Beautifully written and perfectly plotted; The Lingering is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. The tension is almost unbearable at times. It’s nerve-shredding and genuinely chilling’ Random Things

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‘Cults, secrets and ghostly goings on haunt the pages of SJI Holliday’s latest thriller, out 30 September for Kindle. Ali and Jack Gardiner leave their London lifestyle behind and join a commune in the Fens. What’s prompted such a drastic decision? It’ll take a while before you find out. The ex-copper and psychiatric nurse try hard to fit in at Rosalind House, a former mental hospital with a chequered past, but it’s clear there’s something off about the pair. Meanwhile, strange occurrences are putting everyone on edge in a book you’ll want to read with all the lights on’ Crime Fiction Lover

 

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‘This was good. Creepy and disturbing in equal measure. I’ve really enjoyed her other books but this takes things to a new level for me. I need to think about this some more.I feel somewhat unsettled (in a good way) It’s been percolating in my brain ever since. It’s deliciously gothic, supernatural whilst focusing on a dark relationship with an added coercive edge. The mix of gothic gives it a historical feel whilst the relationship side adds the present day storyline. The supernatural veil lingers over both. Both are haunting’ The Book Trail

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‘Right down to a trail of small, wet footprints….Ali and Jack’s presence upsets the finely honed balance in the house, and therefore they attract more scrutiny from some of the other people living there. It is clear that things are not going to end well. SJI Holliday is the Queen of creepy storytelling and keeps the pathos going throughout the novel. A quick mention for the cover – it reflects so well the content’ Trip Fiction

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‘The twists, the turns, the gravitational pull was beyond thrilling! My word the entire drowning scene, the mysterious deaths, the chilling ghostly pasts will have you wishing you can press the pause bottom to catch your breath. Justice, retribution, validation is on the mind-in the hearts- in the souls and now of it will go silent! “Lets fly into the wind” shall we…. I can’t tell you another book that has ever kept me on edge like this one. This is a must read for 2018’

 Donna Hines

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‘Blimey that was rather brilliant!! And creepy AF!! I think the moral of this story is ‘trust nobody’. Oh, and don’t ever take a bath…….ever, ever again!!! The Lingering is a (very!) twisted supernatural crime story. We are introduced to Jack and Ali Gardner who decide to leave their old life behind to begin again at a self sufficient commune. The village they move to has link to witchcraft and the locals are well aware of the stories and history. Even Rosalind House where the commune has set up used to be a psychiatric home – so the level of creepiness around the area is bound to be high! … There are a number of weird goings on at the commune, strange sightings and your interest is continually raised trying to work out why these things are happening and if any of the rumours are true! I found myself constantly on edge as the darkness of the story increased and with an extremely chilling ending it just rounded off a wonderful but disturbing read!!’ Books and Me

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‘I loved this book! I adore novels with a creepy edge and The Lingering was such a treat. I listened via audiobook and the narrators did such a great job of bringing the characters to life. The story focuses around three main characters, Ali, her husband Jack and Angela, who all stay in a commune – a former psychiatric home with a very dark past. I adored Angela, with all her theories on the supernatural and funny little quirks. Halfway through the book, the story took a turn – although I won’t spoil the surprise for readers here. Just to say that you’ll know when you get to it. It was such a great twist to the tale and I raced through the rest of the book. S.J.Holliday is a fantastic writer, she has such a talent for drawing out the darkest emotions in her characters in The Lingering and describes the spooky settings with great poetic flair. The Lingering is evocative and haunting, a truly nerve-tingling read’ Caroline Mitchell

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‘I have to admit to scaring easily but I think this was the perfect story for me. I did get chills up my spine but not so much that I was turning on all the lights and having a sleepless night. If you keep an open mind you will enjoy this story even more and to be honest it was so easy to be swept along with the events in this book! There are secrets and darkness around ever my corner and I loved every moment! The way I would describe The Lingering is that it is a truly addictive mystery along with having a brilliant paranormal edge that will chill you and thrill you in equal measure!’ Rae Reads

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The Lingering is a fantastically creepy, gripping read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  It’s a fabulous read to cuddle up with and enjoy as the nights draw in, though maybe not on your own! The story gripped me from the start with its intriguing opening and things never really let up from there with lots of creepy going on that definitely kept my interest. … This is the first book by this author I have read and I can’t wait to read more from her.  If you like creepy, thrilling reads that you can’t put down you’ll love this book’ Over the Rainbow Book Blog

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‘SJI Holliday weaves a crime element into her plot, and this was done to great effect. But I’m not going to talk any more about this here, you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happens. The atmosphere in the book is excellent, and it brings the commune and the surrounding countryside to life. If I ever see a building remotely similar to the commune whenever I’m driving around country lanes, I think I’ll be speeding up and keeping very clear. The Lingering is dark and atmospheric; it will linger in your mind and beware, it may give you nightmares. It is psychological suspense at its very best. You really don’t want to miss it’

Hooked From Page One

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‘What I love about Susi Holliday as a writer is the fact that you just could not choose between her plotting and her characterisation in any of her books. Usually, I find that when writers are this good at one of these things, the other definitely suffers – but just like her other books, The Lingering is definitely the exception to the rule… This book is a fascinating and memorable read – I’d call it haunting –  if that wasn’t a pun too far! It is deliciously dark and will be guaranteed to Linger in your thoughts as you climb those stairs to bed in the darkness’ On the Shelf Book Blog

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The Lingering is not a long read at just over 250 pages but I was thoroughly engrossed from the first page until its twisted conclusion.  Rosalind House is a character all on its own, with its dark corridors and hidden rooms containing relics of the past.  Character wise, there was one that I had an immediate dislike for but they are all well drawn and realistic – from Smeeton who just wants a harmonious community and tries to see the best in everyone to ‘Fairy Angela’ a young woman not sure of her place in the world but who just wants to find somewhere to belong. Definitely a recommended read. Just be careful when you take a bath!!’

 My Reading Corner

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‘Holliday brings so many terrific gothic/horror-elements together in this novel that you really can’t escape that ominous feeling of foreboding. Something is amiss and you don’t know what it is and where it will lead but it made me very nervous. The story builds up tension and Ali, a firm non-believer, experiences some unsettling and strange events that left me doubtful. Is someone playing tricks, is she mental or are there really spirits from the past trying to make contact? It’s definitely one of the former but Holliday kept me in the dark until my nerves were frayed and my nails almost bitten to the quick. The only regret I have is that I would have liked perhaps more insight and backstory into some of the other characters too, like Rose. It’s just a small niggle though, because I couldn’t get enough and they all intrigued me. The Lingering is one helluva page-turner that you better not read in the late hours of the night if you still want to have some sleep. If you enjoy scary reads then I can very recommend this one’ The Belgian Reviewer

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‘Despite my scepticism where ghosts are concerned, those sections were perfectly pitched so that they came across as completely authentic. The Lingering is a compulsive and intense read, one which I found absolutely compelling. The house’s past, Ali and Jack’s past, Angela’s supernatural investigations, all come together to make this a really inspired story. I love what the author has achieved here, how she has weaved the strands together. It’s a fabulous read’

Short Book and Scribes

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‘The real stars of the show are the ghosts – just the right balance of creepiness! From the obvious things of lights flickering or a coldness coming over you, to the wet footprints or being held down in the bath. Nothing was over the top and the feeling of discomfort is there from the very beginning. This is a standalone but, although things are tied together at the end, there are still questions that need answering. This is a perfect read for autumn/winter. Just as the trees are stripped of their leaves, The Lingering lays bare the secrets and lies of Rosalind House and its inhabitants, both past and present. A deliciously chilling and creepy read’

Joy Kluver

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‘The story is incredibly creepy and chilled me to the bone. By combining three different genres, you get a story that grabs you and holds you in its embrace in more than one way. Your thrilled by the modern elements of the psychological thriller, the twists and turns, obsession and the mind games. Then scared by the ghostly happens and fascinated by the historical drama that seeps from the past into the present. For me it was the perfect combination and made a story tantalising and addictive in equal measure … The writing creates a palpable sense of lingering fear that inhabits the walls and surrounding grounds, with the entry of a new couple setting off a terrifying chain of events … If giving up life in an increasingly chaotic and scary world to check into a commune, ensure it’s not one dreamed up by the mind of one SJI Holliday! Seriously this is a top class chilling read’ Books are my Cwtches

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Susi takes part in an interview with Compulsive Readers as part of the blog tour. Compulsive Readers

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‘There was so much more in this novel than I was expecting and I loved that it genuinely shocked me when the reveals start to come. It’s not often that I don’t see what’s coming in a novel but this one had me reeling on more than one occasion! … The Lingering is a brilliant novel that has so many levels to it. There are twists and turns, and it is creepy at times but at its heart it’s a look at the psychology of what makes us think the way we do and how easily, and unwittingly, we can be drawn into someone else’s twisted web. I loved this book and I keep finding myself thinking about it even thought it’s now weeks since I read it. The Lingering is creepy, disturbing and utterly brilliant! I highly recommend it!’ Rather Too Fond of Books

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‘This story has left me wanted to know more, not only of the characters but the story of the building and its past, the story is so addictive, intense and emotional that when you arrive at the end it feels like it could not have ended yet, it has to be more! … I don’t want to make any spoilers of the story; sometimes is better entering a book without knowing what it will be inside, the surprise is much bigger! I will simply say that this is a worth reading book; atmospheric, dark, twisted and gripping… possibly it will be on your nightmares for your next couple of days, but when a book is good, it has to be read’ Varietats

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‘This book simmers with tension in the best possible way from the first chapter right through to the last. It’s a story that draws you in so you easily get lost in the pages and I would recommend you clear some time in your diary as you won’t want to put it down!’ Bucks Books Beyond

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‘Right from the very first line you get a sense of dread, a lingering (see what I did there!?) unshakeable feeling that something really really bad is going to happen. SJI Holliday holds you in a state of unsettled tension throughout reading this, how she does it, I do not know, but I applaud her! You clasp desperately to the book, furiously turn the pages, devour every word until the very brilliant ending is delivered. And even after reaching that last page, the chills stay with you. This will be a book I forever recommend to people, it blew me away. Tense, creepy, bursting with atmosphere and bone chilling. I f**king loved every minute!’

Emmas Bookish Corner

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The Lingering features some supernatural elements. I usually steer clear of these types of books but my last few reads have contained mystical elements and I have truly enjoyed them. The Lingering is a unique and chilling addition to the latest trend of crime fiction with a gothic twist. Fans of The Death of Mrs.Westaway by Ruth Ware and The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton should add The Lingering to their list of must reads’ Murder and Moore

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‘The psychological aspects of this novel are brilliant, and the contrast between the characters added to the sense of unease. Ali has this dark aura about her, then you have Angela, a quirky believer in the paranormal, and with Smeaton you’re not entirely sure if he runs a cult or a commune. So the fact that these three narrate the novel works really well, because Ali is hiding her past, Angela wants her to reveal her past, and Smeaton wants to keep the peace, and I’m yet to read a novel where everyone gets what they want! The Lingering will delight any light-horror/thriller fan, it’s incredibly atmospheric, it unsettles when it’s meant to, and chills when it needs to! The Lingering is the perfect title because as you read this novel, it feels like something is lingering, this darkness, this presence, and even once you’ve turned the last page, that lingering feeling never quite goes away…’ Keeper of Pages

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‘With The Lingering Holliday has created the type of book that has a gnawing sense of foreboding throughout its length. A simmering tension that lingers alongside as you read and that creeps under your skin. With more and more ghostly and strange occurrences happening things finally come to a head when Jack and Ali’s secret is discovered and the truth about them slowly becomes apparent … Clocking in at just over 250 pages The Lingering is only a short book and it left me torn! I was torn between either devouring the book and flying through the pages or reading it slowly over a number of days and savouring it. In the end, gripped by the story, wanting to know what happens next, lacking in willpower and thanks to a couple of holy shit shocks and twists I said fuck it and flew through the pages of what is a delectably dark tale. Part haunted house ghost story, part psychological thriller and all dark with an air of mystery that pervades the pages The Lingering is a scintillating read that will chill you’ The Tattooed Book Geek

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The Lingering is very different from the usual thrillers. At first you think Ali and Jack are a typical couple having marital problems, and this is their last-ditch attempt at trying to save their relationship. Mind you, going to live at a commune seems an unusual choice, but we don’t know their troubles yet, nor their personalities, so who are we to say? … Everything I imagined as I started getting into the story, was completely wrong. In fact, I couldn’t have guessed what it was really about, and there lies the beauty of this story. It keeps you guessing right to the end, and the added paranormal element just makes it that more complex, and of course, terrifying. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I really like her style. She’s not afraid to take chances, and the way she blends genres is quite masterful. I gobbled this book up in one sitting, gorged on it really, because I just could not put it down. Excellent story, and very atmospheric. Not to mention, red herrings galore! I just loved it! This is a great choice for the season, and I can’t recommend it enough!’ Reads and Reels

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Reviews