It's 1945 and Martin Heath, like many men at that time, is struggling to settle, to find his place again after the horrors of war. When an old comrade sends him a letter, telling of a position that's just come up with an elderly fellow called Mr Godley in the deepest and loneliest part of Devon. Martin travels there and so begins a dark mystery...
David Fickling Books proudly presents new fiction for adults. The first title to be published in October 2018 will be the last book ever finished by Mal Peet. The author sadly passed away in 2015 and is sorely missed by Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books. However, his memory continues through this marvellous book "Mr Godley's Phantom". It truly highlights his amazing and brilliant storytelling skills.
This book has to be one of my favourite reads of the year and one I hope will get new readers to appreciate the other seven books that have already been published. He started to write his first novel at the age of 52 and produced some of the best books for teenagers. Like this book, he slowly sucks you into the narrative distilling a dark supernatural feeling that you have no idea where it will take you or leave you. The simplicity of the plot is laced with a mysterious edge comprising of part ghost/part crime novel and something slightly more seductive.
The story harks back to the 1940's, just after the war. Mal Peet manages to effectively write a story very evocative of this time period. He really gets the emotions and dark feelings across in this story. You can almost feel the emotions of the characters who captivate you the more you get to know them, but you don't really know them.
It's a very intelligent story which hangs in the realms of reality. It has a sharp and snappy no-nonsense dialogue. You WILL definitely turn the pages quickly which, in this case, will be at the speed of a fast Rolls Royce car. You'll journey comfortably across the Devon landscape before being led into a thrilling, but unsettling, ending that will make you truly squirm inside. This is a deep psychological look into two characters with traumatic previous lives.
This book is one of the best atmospheric stories that I've read - it will come back to haunt you again and again. It is a truly brilliant book attributed to a truly brilliant man. Mal Peet.