Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE HAUNTING OF HIGHDOWN HALL by @shani_struthers

Today’s Team Review is from Luccia, she blogs at

#RBRT Review Team

Luccia has been reading The Haunting Of Highdown Hall by Shani Struthers


An Engaging Paranormal mystery

Thirty-one year old, film star Cynthia Hart, died of a heart attack during a dazzling birthday party at her residence, Highdown Hall, on Christmas Eve, 1958. Fifty-six years later, the present resident, Mr. Kierney, will discover her spirit hasn’t left and is causing havoc in the first floor bedrooms. He calls in the Psychic Surveys team, who will have to investigate the events leading up to her death in order to discover what’s keeping her in the land of the living.

Highdown Hall is not the only case they work on, however. They also visit a notorious mental asylum and various houses in the area, in search of lost spirits who need help moving on to the other side.

The four members of the team have varying degrees of psychic abilities. Ruby inherited the gift from her mother and her grandmother. Theo, who is retired, specialises in long distance healing. Quiet Ness, in her fifties sometimes worked with the Sussex police, and Corinna, a 21 year old who dresses in gothic attire and also works at a pub.

Ruby, the heart and soul of Psychic Surveys, who is trying to set up a webpage for their flourishing business, meets Cash Wilkins, a website designer, and just the man she needs. Ruby thought he wouldn’t be interested in pursuing any kind of friendship with her, once she told him she was ‘a psychic surveyor’, but on the contrary, he was fascinated, genuinely interested, and perhaps a little psychic himself.

The highlight for me was when the spirit of a dead Labrador, Jed, became attached to Ruby after visiting a couple who complained of dog barking at night.

By the end of the novel, Cynthia’s case is finally solved, as a result of Ruby and Cash’s thorough investigations, and the four ‘ghost hunters’ have become six.

It was easy to be carried away by the interesting and varied stories of unhappy and tormented spirits being helped on their journeys towards the light and peace, at last. It’s an enjoyable novel for readers who have at least an open mind to the possibility of paranormal happenings.

Highdown Hall is well written, well plotted, and has engaging characters, so I’m looking forward to more of the Psychic Surveys’ extraordinary investigations.

Book Description

Psychic Surveys: Book One – The Haunting of Highdown Hall 

“Good morning, Psychic Surveys. How can I help?”

The latest in a long line of psychically-gifted females, Ruby Davis can see through the veil that separates this world and the next, helping grounded souls to move towards the light – or ‘home’ as Ruby calls it. Not just a job for Ruby, it’s a crusade and one she wants to bring to the High Street. Psychic Surveys is born. 

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Ruby and her team of freelance psychics have been kept busy of late. Specialising in domestic cases, their solid reputation is spreading – it’s not just the dead that can rest in peace but the living too. All is threatened when Ruby receives a call from the irate new owner of Highdown Hall. Film star Cynthia Hart is still in residence, despite having died in 1958. 

Winter deepens and so does the mystery surrounding Cynthia. She insists the devil is blocking her path to the light long after Psychic Surveys have ‘disproved’ it. Investigating her apparently unblemished background, Ruby is pulled further and further into Cynthia’s world and the darkness that now inhabits it. 

For the first time in her career, Ruby’s deepest beliefs are challenged. Does evil truly exist? And if so, is it the most relentless force of all?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE HAUNTING OF HIGHDOWN HALL by @shani_struthers

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading The Haunting of Highdown Hall by Shani Struthers


In the late 1950s Cynthia Hart was a beautiful and sought after, if egotistical, movie star about to secure her place on the world’s stage. It was Christmas Eve 1958 and Cynthia was hosting a lavish ball at her country house, celebrating her thirty-first birthday. Little did she know it was to be her last.

Fast forward to present day where we meet Ruby Davis and her team of freelance psychics, Corinna, Theo and Ness, who help earthbound spirits enter the light. Ruby believes wholeheartedly that the power of love helps reluctant or confused spirits on their way. Psychic Surveys is just beginning to make a name for itself, their reputation growing, when Theo goes to survey Highdown Hall, a house in Sussex which used to belong to a famous film star. This case will challenge Ruby’s long held beliefs regarding good versus evil. The Psychic Survey team, along with Ruby’s developing love interest, Cash, and a Jed, a spirit dog, take on a lot more than they bargained for with the haunted Highdown Hall.

This is an enjoyable, easy read. I liked the story and subject matter and, although it’s a little lightweight for me, I was warned this is more paranormal suspense than horror. I believe the following stories get progressively darker so I’ll definitely move on to book two. The only complaint I have is that the narrative felt too long drawn out with unnecessary details in places and more telling than showing initially and so, for me, could do with a little tightening up. Other than that, the writing is good and the story well paced.

The characters are convincing and likeable. Ruby is a warm, compassionate person, dedicated to helping grounded spirits to move on. The plot surrounding Cynthia and why she can’t leave her bedroom is interesting and, as the truth is gradually uncovered, there’s a great twist at the end. There’s also a mystery surrounding Ruby’s mother which hopefully will be revealed in the next book.

Shani Struthers’ concept of what happens after death is a lovely thought, fascinating in it’s straightforwardness, although it seems for some the transition could be more complicated and scary.

I did notice there’s a prequel entitled Eve, which I wanted to read before I wrote my review, and enjoyed very much. It’s a good introduction to Theo and Ness, how they started working together and eventually had the germ of an idea which develops into Psychic Surveys. This story is a little darker, set at Christmas time and encompasses a heart breaking tragedy. Well worth starting with.

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