the blurb

A gripping mystery with a classic feel: And Then There Were None meets The Silent Companions

Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

my review

It’s 1917, during World War 1 and Donovan is called to his bosses office and told he is being sent to Blackwater Abbey to attend a gathering. In the waiting room he meets Kate, who is also told to attend the gathering….but what is their purpose?

Over at Blackwater Abbey, based on a remote island, Lord & Lady Highmounts guests are starting to arrive – a strange mix of people. Two of which are said to have psychic abilities – Madame Feda and Count Orlov…but are they all that they seem?

After all the guests have arrived, a fierce storm arrives trapping them on the island. They think they’re safe until one of them is attacked….and the attacker is unknown. Then one of them dies…. Donovan and Kate set out to uncover the murderer and in the process start to uncover the many secrets of the guests of Blackwater Abbey. But will there be more murders? Is the murderer one of them, and can they trust each other? And what are Donovan and Kate really there to do?

This was a brilliant and gripping mystery! I love a good ghost story/mystery and this didn’t disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that it was set in WW1 so the way the characters talk and carry themselves is very different from today.

Blackwater Abbey sounds amazing, and as you can guess from the title….is full of ghosts! A ghost hunt there would be amazing! The author has done a brilliant job of describing the place and the surrounding island which really helped to bring the story to life.

On to the characters – I wasn’t sure about Donovan, or Kate to start with but I loved them both so much by the end and really want another book to see where they’re sent to next, and what they’ll come up against! Some of the characters are really shady and that’s exactly what you need in a book like this. They all have their own secrets and many are dealing with heartbreak (as you would imagine in the war).

I was thoroughly gripped from beginning to end! This is a brilliant book to curl up with on a winters stormy evening….even better by candlelight….you might even feel like you’re there!!!



about the author

*William Ryan’s first novel in the Captain Korolev series, The Holy Thief, was shortlisted for a Crime Writer’s Association’s New Blood Dagger, a Barry Award, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. The second in the series, The Bloody Meadow, was shortlisted for the Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and the third, The Twelfth Department, was also shortlisted for the Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year as well as the CWA’s Historical Fiction Dagger and was a Guardian Crime Novel of the Year..

The Constant Soldier, William’s fourth novel was described as “subtle, suspenseful and superb” by The Daily Mail and shortlisted for the HWA’s Gold Crown and the CWA’s Steel Dagger.

William’s latest novel (as W.C. Ryan), A House of Ghosts, was published in October 2018.

William lectures on creative writing at City University and helps run the First Monday crime evenings. Visit for more information.

*All Information from Amazon UK

tour hosted by

Compulsive Readers

Thanks to Tracy for inviting me on to the tour and to William and the publisher for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

Hope you’re all having a fabulous day!

Chelle x

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