The Lost Village

The Lost Village

Some stories are never finished. Some voices insist on being heard, even after death . . . Many years ago, soldiers entered a remote English village called Imber and forced every inhabitant out. It remains abandoned . . .Each winter, on one night only, Imber's former residents return to visit loved ones buried in the overgrown churchyard. But this year, something h...

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Title:The Lost Village
Author:Neil Spring
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Lost Village Reviews

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I found The Ghost Hunters to be pretty awesome, but this book was fabulous! I was thrilled to learn that the Ghost Hunters would get a sequel and I was even more thrilled when I got the book to read. And, what a book. From the first page was I hooked and the story kept its hold on my wall the way until the end. You don't have to read the first book, to read this one, but I would recommend you do that to get to know Sarah Grey and Harry Price from the start, how they met, how Sarah started to wor

    I found The Ghost Hunters to be pretty awesome, but this book was fabulous! I was thrilled to learn that the Ghost Hunters would get a sequel and I was even more thrilled when I got the book to read. And, what a book. From the first page was I hooked and the story kept its hold on my wall the way until the end. You don't have to read the first book, to read this one, but I would recommend you do that to get to know Sarah Grey and Harry Price from the start, how they met, how Sarah started to work for him and what went wrong.

    The Lost Village is a captivating tale. I was curious to learn what the connection between Sarah and the village. And, is Imber really haunted? And, what has the movie theater that is said to be haunted to do with everything? Is there some connection between the movie theater and the village? Sarah and Harry reunite to solve the mystery of Imber. But, their past is between them and the village is not a very peaceful place. This case could be the end of them...

    Neil Spring is a very talented writer and I sure hope that he will write at least one more book about Sarah and Harry. Although, to get this one was more than I hoped for and it was very bittersweet to turn the last page. It's an extraordinary tale and I recommend it warmly!

  • Paromjit

    This is historical fiction based on real events. This is a terrific read as the autumn days get shorter, for Halloween, and for whenever a spooky ghost read is what will fit the bill. An elderly Sarah Grey, once assistant to the famous ghost hunter, Harry Price, hears of the discovery of a spirit child's body in the lost village of Imber, on Salisbury Plain in 1978. This drives her to write about her experiences of Imber village, first in 1914 as a child, when it was taken over for the war effor

    This is historical fiction based on real events. This is a terrific read as the autumn days get shorter, for Halloween, and for whenever a spooky ghost read is what will fit the bill. An elderly Sarah Grey, once assistant to the famous ghost hunter, Harry Price, hears of the discovery of a spirit child's body in the lost village of Imber, on Salisbury Plain in 1978. This drives her to write about her experiences of Imber village, first in 1914 as a child, when it was taken over for the war effort by the army, and where her father was stationed, destined to never return home and later in 1932, when she and Harry investigate paranormal happenings, horrors, and ghosts. Promises made by the army and the government that the village would be returned fail to materialise making it a highly political and volatile issue.

    A significant visit to Brixton Picture Palace to explore the odd goings on there lead to Sarah and Harry meeting coincidentally. Sarah has left Harry's employ and their personal relationship led to consequences that have her feeling haunted and guilty. Vernon Wall, a journalist despised by Harry, is instrumental in getting Sarah and Harry into Imber to help the army in some confidential investigations. There has been the terrible burning of Sergeant Gregory Edwards, and the haunted sounds of the cries of children and women, and more on the site, heard by soldiers which has the army worried. They want nothing to impede the annual visit to Imber church service at St Giles by the grieving and resentful villagers, seen as a crucial PR exercise. There are the ghostly sightings of a young badly nourished boy, also summoned through seances led by a trusted army man, Sidewinder. The ghost boy is the dead son of Oscar Hartwell, a man who lost all 4 of his children. Hartwell used to be the local bigwig of Imber living in the large house, now used as kill house in army training. He is the central focus and leading light for the campaign to return Imber. As Sarah and Harry investigate, they uncover horrors and evidence that practically has arch sceptic Harry Price convinced that the paranormal and ghosts exist. For Sarah, Imber village takes her back to the past and a truer understanding of exactly who she is.

    The author does take some liberties but essentially this novel is based on fact. Neil Spring has written an atmospheric ghost story located in a lost village where feelings naturally run high amongst former locals. What I really loved was the character of Sarah Grey, a woman with a strong interest in the supernatural, visited by visions, or possibly hallucinations, in love with Harry Price but knows his marriage forbids a relationship between them. Through the course of the novel Sarah is on a journey that reveals so much about her complicated identity and she is instrumental in arriving at the truth. This is a wonderful and thrilling tale of the ruthless in humanity, ghosts and the paranormal. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.

  • Kirsty ❤️

    I really enjoyed 'Ghost Hunters' the first book in this series so was delighted that the author is doing more. This one is full of twists and turns and doesn't let up right from the beginning as Harry Price and Sarah Grey go off on yet another adventure to debunk spiritual happenings. 

    One thing I do like is how nothing is 100% debunked though and while the majority of events in this story boil down to the dastardly do-ings of man there's still just a few things that can't be explaine

    I really enjoyed 'Ghost Hunters' the first book in this series so was delighted that the author is doing more. This one is full of twists and turns and doesn't let up right from the beginning as Harry Price and Sarah Grey go off on yet another adventure to debunk spiritual happenings. 

    One thing I do like is how nothing is 100% debunked though and while the majority of events in this story boil down to the dastardly do-ings of man there's still just a few things that can't be explained away by science. 

    The story (based on real life events and a real village) of Imber is fascinating and makes me long for a bit of a road trip down to Wiltshire to see it myself. And for me, that's one of the signs of a good book setting. Do I want to go? Even with the scary ones. And I'm all for going to go scare myself in an abandoned village. 

    Plot wise the relationship between Harry and Sarah is strained with mistrust. As per usual Price knows far more than he's letting on. I do wonder why she sticks around someone who is not really that likeable and very good at upsetting people but as she says herself 'he's famous worldwide' (a bit paraphrased). Or as is mentioned elsewhere in the book she's curious...and curious enough to put up with him.

    It's quite a pacy read, the main bulk of events take place over a very short space of time. The characters are really well drawn and for the most part likeable. I'm not entirely sure I'd get on with the real Harry Price but that's a personal thing and doesn't detract from the book. In fact I enjoy it when others take him down a peg or two. 

    Overall another brilliant read. 

    Free arc from netgalley

  • Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*

    After reading Neil Spring's The Ghost Hunters #1 last year, and thoroughly enjoying it, I was very excited to see The Lost Village (The Ghost Hunters #2) available to request on NetGalley. I was over the moon when I was accepted to read more about Harry Price and Sarah Grey's adventures into the paranormal.

    Unlike other books about ghostly goings-on that I've read, Spring

    After reading Neil Spring's The Ghost Hunters #1 last year, and thoroughly enjoying it, I was very excited to see The Lost Village (The Ghost Hunters #2) available to request on NetGalley. I was over the moon when I was accepted to read more about Harry Price and Sarah Grey's adventures into the paranormal.

    Unlike other books about ghostly goings-on that I've read, Spring gives the genre a bit of twist, in that the main protagonists agenda is to debunk and expose fraudsters who

    they can contact the dead.

    What we get is a fascinating insight into how far people will go to convince others of the existence of an afterlife, whether it's for entertainment purposes in order to make a few quid, or perhaps merely to 'cover up' something truly sinister and evil that's occurring in this very real life of ours.

    Both main characters in this story were absolutely superb, very much a chalk and cheese coupling that works a treat. Price, a bolshy individual with real focus on finding an explanation for

    , and the sweet, but spiritually sassy Miss Grey, doing her upmost to tolerate Price, but not allowing him to manipulate her beliefs in any way. Between the two of them, their paranormal investigations are meticulous and fascinating.

    The story itself is written beautifully, it reads with atmosphere and injects dread and fear into the reader. There are some pretty ghastly scenes that are described with just enough detail to chill to the bone, without being unnecessarily graphic or bloody.

    Spring has a real poetic ability in setting a scene. I was transported to the lost village of Imber every time I picked this up. The bleakness of Salisbury Plain and it's typically unpleasant weather all woven into a story of mystery and multiple layers that fitted together perfectly, like a spooky jigsaw puzzle.

    This book undoubtedly deserves 5 stars. It is clever, educational, atmospheric and incredibly entertaining. I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed Susan Hills 'The Woman in Black'.

  • Shirley Revill

    OMG I so loved this audiobook it was totally brilliant and now I must read other stories by this author.

    I listened late at night when I should have been asleep but the story was just too good to turn the audiobook off.

    The dark room and the wonderful narration certainly added to the story and I was tempted to turn the bedside light on a couple of times. I'm hoping any other books by this author are as good because this audiobook would take some beating. Really enjoyed. Highly recommen

    OMG I so loved this audiobook it was totally brilliant and now I must read other stories by this author.

    I listened late at night when I should have been asleep but the story was just too good to turn the audiobook off.

    The dark room and the wonderful narration certainly added to the story and I was tempted to turn the bedside light on a couple of times. I'm hoping any other books by this author are as good because this audiobook would take some beating. Really enjoyed. Highly recommended.

  • Susan

    I greatly enjoyed the first novel featuring Harry Price and his assistant, Sarah, as well as Neil Spring’s stand alone novel, ‘The Watchers,’ so I was delighted to read the sequel to ‘The Ghost Hunters.’ We meet up with Sarah as an elderly lady, when there is a news story relating to an investigation that she took part in, back in 1932. Reminded of those events, Sarah sets down her story on paper and confronts what happened to her as a young woman.

    The book revolves around the village

    I greatly enjoyed the first novel featuring Harry Price and his assistant, Sarah, as well as Neil Spring’s stand alone novel, ‘The Watchers,’ so I was delighted to read the sequel to ‘The Ghost Hunters.’ We meet up with Sarah as an elderly lady, when there is a news story relating to an investigation that she took part in, back in 1932. Reminded of those events, Sarah sets down her story on paper and confronts what happened to her as a young woman.

    The book revolves around the village of Imber, on Salisbury Plain, which, according to this novel (the author admits he has changed events a little) was requisitioned by the army during the first world war. Imber, previously a thriving, if isolated, community, was left a ghost village – the inhabitants only allowed to visit the village once a year to visit the graves of their dead. This has led to anger and resentment, as the villagers believed that, once the war was over, they would be allowed back.

    Sarah is recruited by journalist, Vernon Wall, to look into Imber for the army. Of course, it is not Sarah, but Harry Price they really want and that they hope Sarah can convince to help look into what lies behind the strange happenings at Imber, before the evacuated village is once again opened to the public. The soldiers based nearby are full of rumours of strange lights, murmured voices and ghostly sightings. With everyone spooked, can Price, the great sceptic, discover what is behind all the stories.

    This is an interesting and atmospheric novel, with an evocative setting. As readers of ‘The Ghost Hunters,’ will know, the relationship between Price and Sarah has been strained and this also helps make the novel interesting. There are also an excellent cast of characters; including the resentful Oscar Hartwell, whose family owned much of Imber before it was evacuated, the Commander of the army base and his assistant, Sidewinder, whose family hail from those parts, and, the journalist, Vernon Wall. Events in the village will cause everyone involved to reassess their thoughts on the supernatural and Sarah will have to confront her own past, as well as face danger to her own life. I hope to see more, both in this series, and from this very talented author.

  • Rob Twinem

    Classic horror at its best Neil Spring is an elegant author of what I would term as classic horror. In his writing just like an artist he paints a picture and relies on the reader to look at that picture and use his imagination to envisage the story. In The Lost Village he again teams two of his favourite ghost hunters Harry Price and his assistant Sarah Grey. They have travelled to the former village of Imber on Salisbury Plain to help understand strange and ghostly sightings including the trag

    Classic horror at its best Neil Spring is an elegant author of what I would term as classic horror. In his writing just like an artist he paints a picture and relies on the reader to look at that picture and use his imagination to envisage the story. In The Lost Village he again teams two of his favourite ghost hunters Harry Price and his assistant Sarah Grey. They have travelled to the former village of Imber on Salisbury Plain to help understand strange and ghostly sightings including the tragic disfigurement of Sgt Gregory Edwards. I love Spring's writing style and his simple but effective use of language which is a joy to read yet somewhat disturbing and creepy...."The winter sun was sinking beneath the spires of Westminster and casting a pink hue across the London skyline".... "I froze. Around me, the trees seemed to shimmer, as if I were seeing them through a haze. At first, there was absolute silence. The air had become chillingly cold, freezing, and then I thought I heard, faintly.....low whispering"......"Price was standing in the centre of the wrecked mill, next to the battered table and chairs. A length of rope dangled from his right hand. Wearing his black frock coat that fell to his knees, he exuded the sinister presence of a Victorian Executioner".....

     

    The Lost Village is really the story of displaced inhabitants attempting to reclaim what the army has stolen. Once a year they are invited back but this will be no ordinary visit as a chain of events sets in motion a terrible reckoning, and a sickening revelation ensuring that Imber will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. I particularly liked the cover of this novel with its dark angry skies and the picture of a man approaching wearing his trademark black coat, all which really adds to the atmospheric, macabre tale. Many thanks to the good people at Quercus publishing for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

  • Bookread2day

    I loved reading this book and the introduction to the authors notes. The village of Imber on Salisbury Plain is very real. A ghost town out of bounds, abandoned at the outbreak of the Second World War. For the novel to work it was necessary for the author to change the date of this abandonment to 1914, and although some characters are indeed based on historical figures, the author has taken liberties with places and names and historical events to transport readers to a place his characters were

    I loved reading this book and the introduction to the authors notes. The village of Imber on Salisbury Plain is very real. A ghost town out of bounds, abandoned at the outbreak of the Second World War. For the novel to work it was necessary for the author to change the date of this abandonment to 1914, and although some characters are indeed based on historical figures, the author has taken liberties with places and names and historical events to transport readers to a place his characters were able to explore. Imber truly is a creepy location remote, dangerous and eerily deserted. I loved reading about Harry Price a ghost hunter. Harry Price was a real psychical investigator a maverick who achieved infamy during the inter-war period for his other worldly investigations, and although this story is entirely imaginary, some of it was inspired by Price's own writings and experiences. A spooky psychological drama based on a true story.

  • Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    The perfect accompaniment to a chilly October evening, The Lost Village blends together fact and fiction to form a creepy tale filled with ghosts and long-forgotten memories.

    Most of the action is centered on the 'lost village' of Imber. Found on the Salisbury Plains, many years ago soldiers forced the inhabitants out to use it as a military base in the first World War. Once a year the inhabitants are allowed

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    The perfect accompaniment to a chilly October evening, The Lost Village blends together fact and fiction to form a creepy tale filled with ghosts and long-forgotten memories.

    Most of the action is centered on the 'lost village' of Imber. Found on the Salisbury Plains, many years ago soldiers forced the inhabitants out to use it as a military base in the first World War. Once a year the inhabitants are allowed back to visit former loved ones buried in the churchyard. However, mysterious ghostly sightings that have driven the soldiers mad, and rumors of the church bells ringing on their own have started to occur in Imber, with many inhabitants claiming it's the former inhabitants rearing up to reclaim their forgotten village. Only Harry Price and his former assistant Sarah Grey can unravel the truth. Is this an elaborate hoax? Or the work of the undead?

    After a brief prologue involving an elderly Sarah and a ghostly visitation, we jump straight into the action with a younger Sarah investigating the Brixton picture house, which has a notorious reputation for ghost sightings. I found myself feeling as though I was there with Sarah as she explores the dark rows of seats, and there's an almost palpable tension created as she realises that the 'ghost light', usually left on by the last employee to leave on an evening, is switched off. This opening scene was a great introduction to the overall feel for the rest of the novel, which was deeply atmospheric, creepy and filled with paranormal activity.

    The plot itself, where we find Harry and Sarah in Imber, is fast paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing until the end. Just when I thought I'd figured something out or solved a mystery, the author threw something unexpected in, which kept me on my toes and allowed me to really enjoy this. It's not often I'm taken by surprise by a story-line, and I was pleasantly surprised. I also liked how the plot all linked together - from the picture house to Imber and the elderly Sarah we see at the beginning. It was cleverly done, and showed that all aspects of the story had a purpose and were thoughtfully considered.

    I loved the relationship between Harry and Sarah, which was complex and almost love/hate. It's acutely apparent that Sarah is in love with Harry, but regrets from her past prevent her from acting on this. She also knows just how deeply under Harry's spell she is, and hates herself for it. I loved that aspect of her character. I also liked the fact that the author does not try to present Sarah as anything other than what she is - she feels like a 'proper' person from her time period. There's no 'modern' ideologies, which is great, and nothing about her feels forced.

    Harry is more complicated a character. As we only see things from Sarah's perspective, it's hard to get a grasp on who he really is and how he feels about Sarah. He often comes across as quite abrasive, and short with people who do not share is opinion. At one point in the story he's also appears to complete drop his own perspectives about the paranormal after one particular incident, which felt a bit out of place for him - especially as Sarah is convinced that it's a hoax.

    My main issue with Sarah and Harry was that I felt there wasn't any proper closure between the two characters at the end. I wanted the two of them to talk about their past together, which never happened - and so much was left unspoken that I was a little bit disappointed at the potential that was missed there.

    However, I found this an exceptionally well written tale with a great amount of atmospheric detail that kept me enthralled to the end.

  • Maya Panika

    An intriguing premise: a fictional tale featuring the famous real life ghost hunter Harry Price, set amidst the ruins of the lost village of Imber on Salisbury Plain, which was taken for military training, its community cruelly forced from their homes, ripped from their roots by the needs of the army and a nation at war. Ghosts are said to roam Imber; strange things are happening, a ghostly blacksmith is heard weeping in the night, a hollow-eyed phantom of a boy seen wandering through the woods,

    An intriguing premise: a fictional tale featuring the famous real life ghost hunter Harry Price, set amidst the ruins of the lost village of Imber on Salisbury Plain, which was taken for military training, its community cruelly forced from their homes, ripped from their roots by the needs of the army and a nation at war. Ghosts are said to roam Imber; strange things are happening, a ghostly blacksmith is heard weeping in the night, a hollow-eyed phantom of a boy seen wandering through the woods, a soldier has been driven to set himself on fire by ghostly assailants. It sounded magnificent and just my thing - and sometimes it is, when the story picks up and gets some pace and momentum, it is a really engaging read, but mostly, I’m sorry to say I found it dreadfully dull. The style and the story are sadly cliched; it seems to have taken me forever to read - almost a month for a book I would have ripped through in a few days if I’d been enjoying it, rather than wading through each night with a sigh, desperately trying to stay awake long enough to finish the chapter. The story is badly overwritten. It meanders and blunders about, at times drawn out almost to snapping point, so all the tension is lost, the exact opposite of a page turner. It’s not helped by the characters who are all so unpleasant, I couldn’t warm to any of them. Harry Price in particular comes across as an arrogant boor and the protagonist Sarah Grey is bland and stiff and never comes to life as a believable human woman.

    It’s such a pity, because the idea is good, the premise original, the setting atmospheric, but something went badly awry in the execution and the much vaunted 'twist' was fairly predictable. I think it needs a really hard edit - about 100 to 200 pages cut clean away - to bring out the plot and the suspense that are there, buried under the weight of all that unnecessary padding and fuddle.

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