Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones
Disclaimer: This book was published on October 8, 2013, but with typical fashion at this point I have managed to read the advanced readers copy. There will probably be some minor changes between the version I read and the published version.
I think I've started to mention it more how often I fall for the ploy of choosing to read a book when they mention other authors I love. Whether said author writes a favorable review of the book or if the book is being likened to said author's work; I immediately get more curious in the book but still a little wary since I seem to always fall for this trap.
...the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
LUCKILY, this book turned out to be wonderful and I was delighted by this book almost as much as I would be by something written by Eva Ibbotson or Neil Gaiman.
So, with all of that in mind.
An amazon summary, "Something mysterious and terrible is happening throughout Victorian London: Ghosts are disappearing. When this reaches the attention of the Ghost Bureau, the diligent but clueless Mr. Lapsewood, a paranormal paper-pusher, is sent to investigate, and what he discovers is grave. The Black Rot has arrived—a voracious spiritual infestation whereby empty haunted houses suck in unsuspecting ghosts and imprison them. Lapsewood’s investigation weaves through the plotlines of several other memorable characters—both living and dead—including an undertaker’s son who can see ghosts, a serial throat-slasher reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, an evangelical exorcist, and many more. The living and dead must work together if they hope to destroy the Black Rot—before it destroys both the ghost and human worlds.
This highly atmospheric and bitingly funny ghost story by successful British author Gareth P. Jones will delight fans of Eva Ibbotson and Neil Gaiman." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
THIS BOOK WAS FABULOUS.
I loved the different characters, how the world was built, the mechanics of the world were a bit wonky in a seems like something that would legit happen sort of way, and there were explanations of 'no one really knows' that made sense because no one does really know what happens after death/ghost spirit moves on to wherever on is.
I feel like I've been reading an abnormal amount of mystery themed books as of late so I was kind of reluctant to keep reading in that vein, but I had no problems loving every page of this book!
...I'm going to try really hard to word right now in a more coherent fashion than just LOVE.
I'm going to talk about the other side of the ghost story; the living.
So Constable & Toop is a funeral service where Sam works with his father; Sam is what the ghosts call a 'Talker' he can hear and see ghosts as if there were normal people. Sam tries to help out the ghosts of London so they can move on through the unseen door. When a ghost is ready to move on, they hear a knocking sound and go through the unseen door before they're gone forever to the next destination in the spirit stop. Working at a funeral home, he comes across a lot of ghosts.
Now Sam's Uncle comes to visit and requests a place to lie low. His father hides him in a coffin and disguises him as a corpse. The police look around, check out the corpse, go so far as to dump pepper on it before they're convinced and leave. As soon as they're gone, Jack (Sam's Uncle) sneezes. Sam isn't too impressed with his Uncle as he comes across as a very unsavory character.
Clara lives in an old house in London which is haunted by Lady Aysgarth; the previous owner of the house. She slowly gets wrapped up in the mystery of the ghosts as well; it started out as an article for Clara, but then it became more of a passion to find the truth. (I really feel like Clara introduced a 'Watson' element to the story in just the recording of events sense.)
I loved getting the different viewpoints of narrators that were followed around. Normally, I'm super concerned that the narrators are going to die except for one because why else switch your narrators around? BUT it's a ghost story so I kind of expected it; it wasn't too throwing of a notion to not enjoy the book.
I loved seeing the different haunts of the ghosts and seeing the ghost society in of itself. It was well thought out and made eerily good observational points on humanity.
The humor was also brilliant.