View Gallery

The Lingering

Published Date: 25th June 2018

Available in

$0

EBook
9781912374540
£5.99
15 November 2018
Paperback
9781912374533
£8.99
15 November 2018
Audiobook
B07HMFCCGH
£19.99
1 October 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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

‘Brilliantly chilling and perfectly paced’ Anna Mazzola

.

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

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

.

‘A perfect twisted read’ Amanda Jennings

.

‘Like Stephen King meets Thomas Harris’ Derek Farrell

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

.

‘Read with all the lights on’ Crime Fiction Lover

.

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

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘Perfect modern-day Hitchcockian suspense’ Steph Broadribb

.

‘Creepy, unsettling and all-consuming’ Jenny Blackhurst

.
‘The QUEEN of creepy story-telling’ TripFiction

.

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

.

‘Spooky, compelling and chilling’ Jane Isaac

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

‘Unnerved me right from the start’ June Taylor

.

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

.

‘A perfect winter read’ Lisa Gray

.

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

.

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

.

‘Gets under your skin and stays there’ Quentin Bates

.

‘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

.

‘What could be creepier than a haunted former asylum deep in the heart of the fens? Not much, as young couple Ali and Jack discover as they move to a commune housed  in the building, where the dream of living a happy harmonious life fails to meet reality’ The Lingering was recommended in the Sunday Mirror

.

‘A wonderful cross-over novel that ranges from taut psychological chiller to supernatural suspense. A couple sell their worldly goods and move to a commune in an abandoned asylum. Needless to say, they do not achieve nirvana. Nail-biting stuff, superbly executed’ The Lingering was recommended in The Times Crime Club

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘The story is at the same time a locked room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and complex ghost story which has been described as both creepy and chilling … I had already, in the course of my reading for Mystery People, become aware that recently there have been titles published which deal with some aspect or other of the supernatural. Is this the start of a new genre which will run alongside of the all-powerful psychological suspense/domestic noir? Certainly it will give scope for writers to demonstrate’ Mystery People

.

Susi was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland

.

‘The characters are well drawn, and their development is excellent. Ali and Jack are rounded and believable, and I did like the third main character, the naïve Angela – one of the commune’s residents who is determined to prove there is some kind of ghostly presence in Rosalind House. The plot, too, sizzles, and Susi Holliday builds the story brick-by-brick, sweeping us along and taking us in completely unexpected directions. The Lingering – with its fabulously evocative cover – is a thoroughly modern ghost story, also involving a serial killer, pharmaceutical experiments and the journal of a long-dead doctor. And I will say, I am never going to look at my bath in the same way again!’ Promoting Crime

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

.

‘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

 

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

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

.

‘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

.

‘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

.

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

.

‘I can’t downplay how well the tension is ramped up throughout the opening act of the book and how the atmosphere became unbearable and almost uncomfortable. What I will tell you is that it is excellent and not really what I expected to read. I also have no idea what genre to put it into. Supernatural? Thriller? Psychological thriller? Gothic? All of the above? Who knows. What I do know is that I read this book in one sitting. It is unputdownable and highly recommended’ Beverley Has Read

.

‘This novel delivers on this with an underlying, ominous tone that keeps your mind at high alert to not miss anything. Ali and Jack are characters where you have no idea what’s happening with them until quite a ways into the story line… and I appreciate the bait. The Lingering title is suitable for many things that happen within the novel. The characters are fascinating, the eerie feel brings about an atmosphere of hesitance and paranoia and the unexpectedness of what the story brings is compelling and certainly unexpected. Certainly a suitable read for those who love a psychological thriller mixed with some paranormal’

 Where the Reader Grows

.

‘Atmospheric, chilling, the tension masterfully built as the true horror of the story is revealed … A fantastic mix of psychological thriller, murder mystery and ghost story, The Lingering is simply wonderful.  It pulls you in right from the get-go and consumes your thoughts long after the final page is turned.  Even now, several weeks later, it still send shivers down my spine and creeps into my dreams.  I do love a creepy, story but just one word of advice… perhaps don’t read this in the bath. The Lingering by S J I Holliday is another fantastic offering from the wonderful Orenda Books’ Tales Before Bedtime

.

‘There are some very sinister occurrences, particularly involving water but the most shocking moments involved what was happening in modern-day. It was these that left me feeling more on edge and a little chilled. I love Susi’s writing, her imagination and her willingness to prove that she can write amazing fiction in more than one genre. I first read a ghost story from her a few years before she was published so I was thrilled to read a full length ghostly novel. The setting in an old asylum is perfect, every time I have seen one, either in real life or in local newspaper reports about one near where I live, makes me think of the tales associated with them and what might be lingering. A brilliant novel which I read in one day. It also has a cover that sent me dizzy every time I looked at it’ Steph’s Book Blog

.

‘Right away you feel like there is something a bit off about Ali and her husband Jack, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what made me feel uneasy about them. Was it their vague references to their elusive past? Or maybe it was just the claustrophobic setting and hint of the unknown, but whatever it was, it worked SO well for me. There was a constant sense of dread and a little bit of fear throughout that kept me on the edge of my seat. I fear discussing the plot further would only spoil things, but I’ll close by saying that this would appeal to a wide variety of readers as it’s mysterious, highly atmospheric and also has a historical vibe due to Rosalind Houses background, and it also went in a few directions I wasn’t expecting and that my friends, is what it’s all about!’ Novel Gossip 

.

‘I had been seeing rave reviews about this book and couldn’t wait to jump in – and I have to say they weren’t wrong – this book is stunning! I loved the setting for the book and the writing style is superb for this story.  It had me feeling chills and I did more than a few shudders, I was completely immersed in the story and it was a real page turner for me.  I couldn’t wait to see how the book would end.  I thought the characters were marvellous and I loved seeing them develop as the book progressed. I am a bit wimp at times but I love reading this kind of book as I can get creeped out safely and the author certainly did that for me with this one – No hesitation whatsoever in giving this one 5 stars – it is blooming brilliant!!’ Donna’s Book Blog

.

‘Hypnotic, disturbing, and utterly chilling, THE LINGERING by SJI Holliday is the perfect book to read in a dimly lit room, in a big empty house – that is, if you want to terrify the life out of yourself!! … From the moment I picked up THE LINGERING by SJI Holliday, I was caught hook, line, and sinker and I didn’t come up for air until I turned the last page. There are moments that will make your spine tingle, and when I was faced with the way women were treated in those places in the past, I felt ill to my stomach which shows the power of this author’s words … THE LINGERING by SJI Holliday is an excellent story of mystery, darkness, and tragedy and I highly recommend it’ Books of All Kinds

.

‘It’s a gothic tale of supernatural, ghostly happenings mixed in with a bang up-to-date chillingly clever plot that looks at the darkest side to a domestic relationship. With coercion and control being the central theme, this novel will haunt the reader … As stranger and stranger events happen, and the members of the community become more uncertain about their new members, Jack and Ali’s terrible secret is slowly exposed. 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 Through My Letterbox

.

The Lingering is well written with an expert eye for pace and plotting. Most successful is the structure which interrupts the narrative, told in turn from the perspectives of both Ali and Angela with the diary extracts from Dr Baldock which creates tension which builds up through its flashbacks to the old asylum. SJ Holliday sets out to achieve a lot in this creepy thriller with clear influences from Shirley Jackson to Agatha Christie but what it lacks in singularity it makes up for in combining recognisable elements to weave together a jolly good fireside yarn. Beware, you’ll be having nightmares about taking a bath but some time’

 Words Shortlist

.

Susi takes part in an interview as part of the blog tour for The Lingering. Devoted to Thrills

.

‘My head was working ten to the dozen, clunking away on overdrive, trying to work out the links to the past and the twists in present day. As the plot got darker, my heart rate continued to rise and I knew sleep wouldn’t happen until I’d finished the story… so be warned! Holliday’s skill at building up pace is exceptional, it just kept on picking up and the plot got juicier and more shocking. The characters jump off the pages reeling you in with their thoughts, letting you get to know them and then, just when you think you’ve sussed them out… they’ll start to show their true colours! Holliday’s strong characterisation is to be applauded, as combined with the pace of the plot, she’s created a phenomenal thriller’ Reviews by Chloe

.

‘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

.

‘I have a fascination with anything asylum based, it’s one of my absolute favourite themes in books so these for me were just the cherry on the top of a super succulent delicious cake. 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!’ Emma’s Bookish Corner

.

‘Throughout the book there are little snippets of a journal written by a doctor who worked in the asylum. They added a real depth to the book and hinted at the hospitals disturbing past. There were so many other stories that could be told, it left me thinking about the lives of all those patients. I really enjoyed this book, yes it was creepy but it is so much more than a ghost story. If you want a book that will make you think, that will keep you guessing and will occasionally give you shivers, then this is the book for you. Pull your big girl/boy pants on and give it a go you won’t be disappointed’ The Midnight Review

.

‘The really scary, Gothicness of this book is the tangle between the secret lives of Rosalind House’s residents. Their secrets, lies and intentions. There’s an almost visceral sense of something wrong (what?), of pressure building, of something about to give way (but again, what?) And while we may be forming suspicions, it’s impossible to tell who is innocent, who is guilty, who is manipulating, coercing, controlling in this self-enclosed, inwardly focused community … The genius of this book is to keep open the channel between the two, as it were, blurring realities, reversing causes and effects and then – in a truly audacious twist – turning the whole thing upside down. It’s a nailbiting story, a nailbiting ghost story, and I think Holliday is going to keep many readers up  into troubled early hours with this book’ Blue Book Balloon

.

Susi shares her spookiest holiday destination photos as part of the blog tour for The lingering. Off-The-Shelf Books

.

‘“The Lingering” is a gothic, sinister and totally addictive read; spirits, ghosts, witchcraft and institutional abuse, power, and coercion all feature in the novel … From the covergasmic lure of the cover to the creepy narrative and even more creepy characters I was hooked from the very beginning! A deep sense of unease settled in my tummy and never left me the whole way through! At one point I actually had to stop reading as it was dark and I was home alone! The Lingering is the perfect ghost story and one to curl up with on a dark winters day…if you dare!’ Chapter in my Life

.

Honestly, The Lingering by SJI Holliday is an absolute treat from start to finish. With a strong, rich story and a page-turner to keep you awake at night, this is a definite 5/5 stars … The way Holliday has written makes for a seriously amazing page-turner but also not a page-turner because you sorta don’t want to be scared anymore. But saying this, I completely devoured it … If you’ve recently watched The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and liked it – you’ll love The Lingering too. There’s a lot more to this book than meets the eye – it’s not just a ghost story, but a psychological thriller with such an interesting and imaginative idea intertwined … The Lingering is eerie with twists and chapters to make you jump out your skin – Congratulations to Holliday for creating such a wonderful book’ Bookmark That

.

‘The development of Ali’s character or perhaps the unraveling would be a more appropriate description, was interesting to see and finding out the reason behind it was even more fascinating. This was a really good creepy read, it was surprisingly different to what I expected but that made it far more interesting. I honestly could have read more and would be interested in more stories from Rosalind House. A fantastic new read that will give you goosebumps!’ Not Another Book Blogger

.

‘This is a modern gothic novel which drips with atmosphere and ever deepening suspense … I found this to be tense, taut writing with some fascinating characters and a thoroughly disturbing plot. This is a story which unnerves the reader and leaves you slightly breathless as the story develops. The Lingering is a chilling tale which preys on one’s fears and nightmares. In short: An original and unnerving tale where the supernatural and horror collide’ Books, Life and Everything

.

‘Part domestic thriller, past ghost story The Lingering had me absolutely hooked. Talk about a gripping read, hoo boy! I couldn’t get a feel for any of the characters at all which just added to this sense of unease that I found quite hard to let go of, even hours after finishing the book. On top of that, we are treated to diary chapters written by a doctor who used to work at the psychiatric institution and in an odd sort of way, those frightened me more than anything because they felt incredibly realistic and believable in showing what human beings are capable of. The Lingering is one dark and disturbing read. With a brilliantly executed plot and complex characters, this haunting tale will linger (see what I did there?) in your mind for days. I have no doubt you’ll see this one pop up near the end of the year on my list of books of 2018’ Novel Deelights

.

‘Strong characterisation and well plotted story lines help this Gothic thriller chiller-fest of a book to stay real and yet manage to put the tingles up and down the reader’s spine. The Lingering is a well-paced book that messes with your head and will chill you to the bone. Disturbing and nerve wracking, it explores the nature of evil and how the past inevitably comes back to haunt you as well as asking some interesting questions about the nature of control … Addictive, menacing and downright spooky, this tale is perfectly pitched for dark winter nights’ Live and Deadly

.

The Lingering has an absolutely amazing setting, the house, the grounds they all just add a whole other layer which really makes for perfect spooky vibes and the alternate character chapters between Ali (one of the newest members to Rosalind House along with her husband) and Angela (a long time resident who believes in the supernatural and is trying to prove their existence) was fantastic getting into the minds of these two was just another great layer to this … The Lingering is definitely a book that has a spooky setting, the woods the building, the characters, the towns people, the backstory all play a part in cranking up the spooky vibes and if you like a thriller that delivers spooky chills this is a fantastic book that in my opinion you cannot go wrong with’ The Life of Me a Bookworm

.

‘Holliday combines layers of paranoia, fear and suspicion from the past and the present to create an unstable environment, which keeps the reader on their feet. Are we dealing with unhappy souls walking the halls looking for a semblance of revenge or is the cold calculating ruthlessness of a possible killer skewing the aura of the so-called peaceful commune environment? This is an intriguing mixture of crime and the paranormal. It has a gothic vibe, and yet simultaneously it has the feel of a pulsing modern crime story, both elements feed on each other to create a captivating read’ Cheryll MM Book Blog

.

‘Haunting, compelling and remarkable, this is a book for anyone who is fascinated by the edges of life, memory and the power of the mind. The setting, a large house which itself seems to have memories, exerts its power throughout on those who live in and around it through the years. Vague suggestions, extreme hatred and twists dominate the narrative, even if at times there is a little over working of the idea. Clever changes of the point of view ensure that the reader is left in no doubt as to who is really guilty, and who knows what is going on in a community with high ideals but dealing with forces beyond control. Suspicion and hard facts form a story which has a potential to linger in the mind. I found this an interesting book and I was glad to have an opportunity to read it as part a tour’ Northern Reader

.

The Lingering is a brilliantly creepy tale that blends the gothic and the contemporary to deliver a sharp, spooky shot of unease. A fantastic blend of Susan Hill and Stephen King, this haunting book is a must for fans of the supernatural story as well as for those seeking a psychological thriller that’s prepared to offer something a little bit different. Original, dark, thrilling and atmospheric, read it with the lights on and – just a tip – maybe avoid reading this one in the bath!’ The Shelf of Unread Books

.

The Lingering is a brilliant novel that has so many layers to it. There are twists and turns, and it is uncomfortable reading at times, but at its soul it’s a glimpse into the psychopathology of what makes us think and act the way we do and how easily, and unknowingly we can be coerced or manipulated. The Lingering ponders the age-old question; nature or nurture?  A compelling and intense read, one which I was completely unable to put down.  Rosalind House’s past, Ali and Jack’s relationship, Angela’s supernatural investigations, all come together to make this a really solid conclusion.  I love what the author has achieved here, how she tied up all the different threads so neatly in a bow. The dark and dull afternoons of winter are the perfect time to be curled up with a hot drink and this chilling story’ Feminisia Libros

..

‘The story alternates mainly between Ali, who has just arrived at the commune and Angela who is a long standing resident there. Angela is quite a quirky character. She believes in the super natural and is determined to find proof that the building houses ghosts. It just adds to the whole atmosphere of the story. Ali and Jack have obviously come to the commune under a cloud. They seem to be running away from something but we just don’t quite know what. My interest was certainly piqued as to why they would give up their everyday lives to hide away in a commune. The Lingering really is an atmospheric read. The setting, the building, the nice back story by way of a doctors journal into life when the building was a psychiatric home, it really does have it all. The story does very much focus on present day but I did love the added suspense of what had happened in the past. It really does hold plenty of surprises in store and I thoroughly enjoyed this chilling reading experience that certainly delivers chills and thrills a plenty’

 By the Letter Book Reviews

.

‘My God! What a creepily compelling read! Right up my twisted reading path and a book I couldn’t wait to read once the positive feedback reviews started flowing in like a raging torrent … The old asylum building appears to be housing some very disgruntled spririts who don’t seem to be enjoying much in the way of eternal rest. I’m so glad I don’t have a bathtub any more because I wouldn’t be going anywhere near it after reading this. *Scream* I could go on and on about this book. There is much to see and much to leave to the imagination. Mine worked overtime and I left the bedside light on while reading it. Creepy as hell. The Lingering is one to read during the winter months when the dark nights are lengthy and the mists are swirling around your house bringing God knows what with them. I loved being scared witless by this sinister and atmospheric read’

 Mrs Bloggs Books

.

Susi takes part in the Secret Library where she lists three book choices that aren’t well known. Café Thinking

.

‘This was a great thriller! Right from the prologue, I was completely hooked and the book never lost my attention once. The short chapters made this an incredibly pacey read … The thrills start very quickly in this one; in fact, it was creepy before anything even happened! … Every piece of information that was slowly revealed had me on the edge of my seat; I couldn’t believe some of what I was reading. It was really exciting. However, it wasn’t all cheap thrills; there was real substance to the story as well. I’m not going to say any more because I recommend going into this one blind. But I’d say this is the perfect read for a dark and gloomy night… just maybe leave the lights on!!’ The Paperback Piano

.

‘I didn’t like it, I abolutely LOVED it … The Lingering is told from 3 different characters within the book, Ali, Angela and Smeaton who is part of Rosalind House. It was such a creepy read, full of thrills and spills, parts were spine-tingling and terrifying and I don’t think that you’ll want to enter your bath for a long time after finishing this book, well I know I won’t anyway. I could feel my heart beating while reading certain parts of it too, especially those footprints and the ending of it too but I don’t want to say anymore other than go and buy this book immediately and prepare to be scared and freaked out. The Lingering has to be another one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year’ Celeste Loves Books

.

‘If you’re looking for a modern Gothic thriller you can’t go far wrong with The Lingering by SJI Holliday! I was immediately drawn in by the cover which is so atmospheric, I’ll give you a moment to check it out again….…gorgeous isn’t it!? I can totally see myself arriving at Rosalind House (then getting straight back in my car and leaving again), such an imposing building which exudes, and contains, so much character … The Lingering is such a perfect book to read at this time of year as the nights are drawing in and the moon is high. You will definitely be more aware of the slightest creaks and groans your house makes as you’re reading. I’d maybe keep the lights on a bit longer at bedtime if I were you, you definitely didn’t just see what you thought you saw from the corner of your eye…Oh, and you’ll never get a bath again once you’re done. Showers all the way!’ Bibliophile Book Club

.

The Lingering is an unsettling look whether at evil is inherent or if it is possible for somebody to be controlled or coerced into perpetrating terrible acts. It also questions whether the dark history of some places means something paraphysical persists in them through the years waiting to be unleashed when the circumstances demand it. The Lingering is a deliciously unsettling novel, where the sense of malevolence gradually envelops the reader just as the characters become trapped by the inevitable horror of what has been and what is to come. This twisted and creepy tale effortlessly combines a taut thriller with a Gothic ghost story and it’s also surprisingly moving, with parts that touched my heart as well as those that sent chills down my spine. Christmas is the traditional time for ghost stories and The Lingering would be a fine choice for those who enjoy a seasonal scare’

 Hair Past a Freckle

.

‘Holliday was brilliant at portraying the change in dynamics, the effects the couple had on those surrounding them and in particular, Angela.  You could see Smeaton struggle with maintaining the communes equilibrium, incapable of making the right decisions, until matters are taken out of his control. The pervading theme throughout may have been about a humans capacity to exert control over another but it was much more about the devastating consequences when that control disappears. I can’t say I felt sorry for the characters concerned or their actions but it made for superb storytelling, that was hard to tear myself away from. The narrative was brilliant throughout, and the author really did get to the very core of her three protagonists, bringing out the best and worst in human nature. Having never read any of Holliday’s previous works I was hugely impressed and look forward to reading more!’

My Bookish Blogspot

.

‘I jumped on the chance to review The Lingering as soon as I read the blurb. I was expecting a good read but not as good as it turned out … The first thing that drew me in to The Lingering was, obviously I guess, the story. It had a feel of the creepy kind of tale I enjoy. The idea of ‘new location, new start’ has been done many times before so it takes a confident author to take it on and do something interesting with it and, thankfully Holliday pulls it off here … inside, just before you start, are two roughly pencil drawn floor plans of Rosalind House and grounds. Again, slightly creepy in a way I couldn’t quite put my finger on. BUT!! Creepy is good when it comes down to story. This is a story that will leave you unsettled at times with hints of Hitchcock and (for me) James Herbert’ Ebookwyrm

.

‘From the start, this book developed into a story with a mystery. This mystery gradually grew and evolved as the suspense and that gnawing, haunting feeling grew. What I didn’t expect was the many “bloody ‘ell” and ” Oh! That’s good” that left my mouth along the way. This is a story that turned my initial perceptions of some of the characters on its head, I love this when an author keeps me on my toes like this … These quick chapters gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, their motives… yes there are motives, there are also disasters and chilling turns of event that made for wonderful and addictive reading. A story that had such an idyllic and simplistic sounding lifestyle change that turns into something very sinister. A disturbing, haunting, psychological, suspense-filled mystery, A brilliant read and one I would highly recommend’ Me and My Books

.

‘This is the second book that I have read by the author and one of the things that I love about SJI Holliday is that you are always guaranteed a dark and creepy read…..and this story is just that and even more. I was hooked from the very first page the author draws you in with an OMG prologue leaving you wanting more. We then follow a story that alternates between characters and tells the story about a couple who move to Rosalind house which has some very disturbing history. The Lingering is full of mystery and not forgetting the fact that it is a ghost story….Woo Hoo I do love a good ghost story and this is beyond good. I freaking loved it I loved the authors style of writing, it is atmospheric and will certainly send chills down your spine. The more I read the more I wanted to know and the whole time I kept thinking what a brilliant movie this would make’

Chelles Book Reviews

.

‘The joy of The Lingering is that Susi Holiday sets up many mysteries throughout the story and it is the desire to uncover the truth which will keep you reading. Make no mistake this is a dark, dark story and there are some deeply unpleasant events to be uncovered but discovering these secrets is an absolute joy. I am reluctant to share too much about what happens within Rosalind House and its occupants past and present.  Suffice to say that The Lingering is a brilliantly chilling tale and that Susi Holliday is on top, top form delivering a story which feels like an instant classic’ Grab This Book

.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve read something that is genuinely creepy. The opening sets the scene well. It is subtly spooky so from the very beginning there is already an undertone of unease. The fact the whole book is set in an old asylum just adds to that atmosphere.  The descriptions of Rosalind House are superb; the peeling paint, musty smell, abandoned equipment and rotting rooms all adds to the general unease and tension of the story. There are moments of true terror which are written so cleverly, you just don’t know what is really going on. Until events come to ahead at least’ The Midnight Review

.

‘I could go on and on about this book. There is much to see and much to leave to the imagination. Mine worked overtime and I left the bedside light on while reading it. Creepy as hell. The Lingering is one to read during the winter months when the dark nights are lengthy and the mists are swirling around your house bringing God knows what with them. I loved being scared witless by this sinister and atmospheric read’ Mrs Bloggs Books

.

‘I still don’t quite know what to make of this book. I know I enjoyed it, the visualisation I had throughout and the fact that I lost track of time while reading are definitely signs I enjoyed it but I still feel slightly unsettled even after finishing it. This book is going to stay with me for some time. Something tells me I’m not going to escape that trace of underlying creepiness any time soon’

 Book Lover Worm Blog

.

The Lingering really is an atmospheric read. The setting, the building, the nice back story by way of a doctors journal into life when the building was a psychiatric home, it really does have it all. The story does very much focus on present day but I did love the added suspense of what had happened in the past. It really does hold plenty of surprises in store and I thoroughly enjoyed this chilling reading experience that certainly delivers chills and thrills a plenty’ By The Letter Book Reviews

.

The Lingering is a beautifully realised and thought provoking modern horror story. It ticks all the right boxes and pushes all of the right buttons to truly set your nerves on edge and, depending on your nervous sensibilities, you may be forced to read this one with the lights on and turned all the way up. The lingering memories of the history of the area, of the house and its previous incarnation and of the tragedies that occurred there, are far more palpable, and far scarier than those of the supernatural entities that dwell within as a result. You may not believe in ghosts, but the human horrors are all too real. Highly recommended’

 Beardy Book Blogger

 

The Lingering was recommended on LMFM Radio Ireland

.

‘Eerie, compulsively readable but also paradoxically wanting you to slow down, to ‘linger’, this is absolutely a 5* must read in my humble opinion. It’s bone chilling, the title is perfect, the atmosphere is drenched in dread and the suspense…honestly just trust me and buy the f***ing book!’ Rachel Read it

.

Reviews