Just Charlie G



Happy New Year! I’m starting off the year with a book review, A Passionate Spirit by SC Skillman.

Two things sold me on this book, firstly the cover. Contrary to the popular saying, I do believe you can judge a book by its cover, and I found this one very attractive. Secondly, of course, the description.

Set in the Cotswolds Hills, Zoe and her husband, priest Theo, run a retreat/holistic centre of sorts. When two new guests arrive, Natasha and James, Zoe immediately feels uncomfortable with them, while her friend Alice, who also works at the centre, shares her concern. A series of dreams, and spooky sightings add to Zoe’s sense of unease, and while the domineering James attempts to muscle in on the running of the centre the otherwordly Natasha charms centre staff and guests alike, including Zoe’s husband Theo, while revealing an impressive gift of healing.

While Zoe and Alice believe that not is all as it seems all around them, Natasha and James begin to take over not just the centre, but lives, leading to a confrontation of epic proportions.

For the first quarter of this book I wasn’t sold, it was perfectly readable, but I felt that what was happening could have been creepier, and more insidious and I also felt it was a little predictable and that we’d been told too much too soon, so what was there left to look forward to?

Turns out actually a lot, as Natasha and James started to take hold of both the centre, and the people within it, the story picked up pace and for me became a page turner. I needed to know, were there supernatural forces at work? Was Zoe imagining it? Were Natasha and James just fraudsters? Was this a story about a cult?

I was pulled in, hook, line and sinker, picking up my kindle at every opportunity to find out what happened next and the end was not disappointing.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in cults, the supernatural and thrillers in general.

What I especially loved were the authors notes at the end, talking about her inspirations for the novel, including the Australian cult, The Family, which sent me scurrying off to the google for an hour after I’d finished the book. A great read.


Four out of Five stars for this one, it’s only missing a star because I was unsure at the start, whereas a five star book generally has me hooked from the beginning.

*Book received for Review Purposes via Netgalley.

6 responses to “Book Review: A Passionate Spirit by SC Skillman”

  1. Tori Gabriel says:

    This book sounds really interesting. It’s not the type of book I normally go for but your description has pique my interest. I’m off to the Play store to see if I can download it

  2. Nice, honest review.

    This one is definitely on my to-read shelf. I read S.C. Skillman’s first novel, “Mystical Circles” after we met on Jo Thoenes’s “sofa” in the studio of BBC Oxford. “A Passionate Spirit” sounds even better than her debut novel, which was very good.

  3. […] Charlie G says this:  “I was pulled in, hook, line and sinker, picking up my kindle at every opportunity to find out what happened next and the end was not disappointing. […]

  4. tracey bowden says:

    I like the sound of this book! Great review I usually find a lot of books hard to get into at first and if I’m not hooked halfway through I tend to not finish them

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