Horror and the Paranormal have always been pretty high on my list of interests although this does not mean I believe ( I want to believe, Mulder ). The case of the green dressed ghost fit in perfectly!
The case of the Green Dressed Ghost is Lucy Banks’ first novel and the start of the Doctor Ribero’s agency of the paranormal series. I was looking forward A LOT to reading this book and was extremely exciting when I heard the soft “thump” of the book falling through my mailbox. I finished it in three days and could not stop reading! Every commute, during my lunch, when I woke up or even when I was batteling sleep just before I turned off the light. This book – although I have some remarks, is great light reading. I can totally see myself reading this on holiday.
Kester is a 22 old nerd. There is no other way of describing him. He has a bit more volume around the waist, wears glasses and – lets be honest, is a bit of a pussy. When his mother dies, he sets out to find the mysterious Doctor Ribero. She had whispered his name and pressured him to find the man just before she died. Kester makes the trip from Camebridge to Exeter and finds out his life was one big lie. His father – who he did not kow he excisted, runs a paranormal agency out of a run down old building in the centre of Exeter.
Kester, an Oxbridge himself, does not think much of all the paranormal humble jumble and after his very first ghost observation he runs back to Camebridge with his tail between his legs. I cannot say much more because we would be threading into the dangerous world of spoilers.
Like I mentioned earlier : I do have some remarks about this book. I obviously have to keep in mind that this is a debut… but on the other hand it does feel a bit too much like a debut form y taste. You can feel that Banks is not experienced in character building and she often has to resort to exposure ( cramming necessar information into awkward feeling conversations ) to get the point across. Some of the quirkiness she writes into the book does come over a bit pushy. For instance – I just finished the book so it is still sittig fresh in my mind, the kitchen scene in Coleman Crescent when they all decided to just leave. The conversation is spun out, does not feel natural and some of the banter and humour feels awkward : as if the reader is missing this big very funny inside joke that – if actually explained, is not that funny at all. I also have put question marks at some of the things these characters do. For instance : why does Kester just go tot he library when he can surf the web from the office ( he did not know the internet was slow then ) and then is increddibly surprised when this old lady ( who acts weird and very unnatural for no apparant reason at all ) says that they actually have the book in the library Kester was looking to purchase online ( note, he had not even taken the time to see if they kept it at the library ). I also got annoyed at Kester selling his house in order to go to Exeter. I mean … I would think an Oxbridge student is a lot smarter than just putting a house on the market on a stupid whim.
Yes, I know that this are quite a lot of remarks but you know what? In the end this was a very good debut and I absolutely loved the premise of this book. There are times when she DOES get it right – for instance Ribero’s Argentineness shines through marvelously. Like I said : I have not been able to put this book down because it flows nicely and the pace is perfectly on point. Not an instant classic but it is an instant love, just like for instance the Wicca series : although not the best books out there, they keep you reading, they capture your attention and you can never ever start reading the next book soon enough. Looking forward tot he next one!
Lucy : If you read this. I really liked your book and I am wholeheartedly looking forward tot he next instalment of the series. The points I made are not to discredit you or your book ( I actually felt very bad writing them ) but just to point out some places where things got a bit stroppy or you can improve on.
Everybody else : still looking for some light holiday reading? Pick this one up! I am SURE you will love it!
PS : My Oxbridge ( Camebridge ) Boyfriend got triggered because the title said Green-Dressed in stead of Green-Clad and he says the ghost is not a salad.