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The White Devil

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Overview

Sex, Death, and Boarding School

When seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is transplanted from his American high school to a British boarding school—the English, hypertraditional, all-boys Harrow School—he finds his past mistakes following him, with an added element of horror: visions of a pale, white-haired boy from Harrow's past. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true.

When one of his ...

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The White Devil

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Overview

Sex, Death, and Boarding School

When seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is transplanted from his American high school to a British boarding school—the English, hypertraditional, all-boys Harrow School—he finds his past mistakes following him, with an added element of horror: visions of a pale, white-haired boy from Harrow's past. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true.

When one of his schoolmates dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and spurned by nearly all his peers. In his loneliness and isolation, Andrew becomes obsessed with Lord Byron's story and the poet's status not only as a literary genius and infamous seducer but also as a student at the very different Harrow of two centuries ago—a place rife with violence, squalor, incurable diseases, and tormented love affairs.

When frightening and tragic events from that long-ago past start to recur in Harrow's present, and Andrew's haunting begins to seem all too real, he is forced to solve a two-hundred-year-old mystery that threatens the lives of his friends and his teachers—and, most terrifyingly, his own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harrow, the elite English boys school, provides the setting for Evans's gripping second novel (after A Good and Happy Child). Andrew Taylor, a 17-year-old American expelled from a Connecticut prep school for heroin use, gets into Harrow thanks to his father's generous gift to the school, one of whose more illustrious alumni is Lord Byron. In a cemetery on nearby Harrow-on-the-Hill, Andrew is horrified to witness the murder of a fellow student and resident of the Lot, a dilapidated dormitory reputed to be haunted, at the hands of a pale skeletal figure in an old-fashioned frock coat. Soon plagued by nightmares, Andrew learns that someone resembling this gaunt figure appeared in a performance of John Webster's Jacobean tragedy, The White Devil, at Harrow in 1803. Meanwhile, cast in the role of Lord Byron in a play written by drunken and bitter housemaster Piers Fawkes, Andrew finds himself adopting Byron's exotic lifestyle amid a love affair, a TB epidemic, and various bizarre elements in this disturbing gothic thriller. (May)
Stephen King
“Want a good English ghost story to read by the fire on a cold winter night? [The White Devil] gathers you in lovingly, then takes you in a strangler’s grip with its escalating horrors.”
Gillian Flynn
The White Devil is an intelligent, bristling ghost story with a stunning sense of place, a uniquely frightful spirit, and a band of absolutely charming heroes—Byronic and otherwise. You’ll dread reaching the end-while flipping the pages furiously.”
David Liss
The White Devil is a page-turning tour de force. Both a thoughtful and learned homage to the ghost story, and a clever and compelling rethinking of the genre, this is an amazing, frightening, and believable novel. I loved it.”
Scott Smith
The White Devil is part ghost story, part murder mystery, part coming-of-age tale, part romance. It’s a delightful cocktail. Justin Evans’ writing is crisp, his storytelling vigorous, his sense of the uncanny pitch perfect. And he’s written a wonderfully creepy book.”
New York Times Book Review
“Demonic possession, the provocative topic of Justin Evans’s first novel, A Good and Happy Child, takes on a literary twist and a sexual jolt in The White Devil. . . . Evans heaps an assortment of gothic embellishments onto this coming-of-age narrative.”
New York Daily News
“Chilling-to-the-bone. . . . Deliciously frightening, The White Devil is a literary scare story in an earlier tradition before vampires ruled the day, or at least the genre.”
Booklist (starred review)
“[A] crackling literary mystery. . . . Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levels of gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously written to boot.”
Shelf Awareness
“Evans ratchets up the suspense at an expert pace. . . . The White Devil [is] an authentic page-turner that may well be devoured in one sitting.”
Kansas City Star
“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.”
The Tuscon Citizen
“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.”
Shelf Awareness
“Evans ratchets up the suspense at an expert pace. . . . The White Devil [is] an authentic page-turner that may well be devoured in one sitting.”
Kansas City Star
“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.”
New York Times Book Review
“Demonic possession, the provocative topic of Justin Evans’s first novel, A Good and Happy Child, takes on a literary twist and a sexual jolt in The White Devil. . . . Evans heaps an assortment of gothic embellishments onto this coming-of-age narrative.”
New York Daily News
“Chilling-to-the-bone. . . . Deliciously frightening, The White Devil is a literary scare story in an earlier tradition before vampires ruled the day, or at least the genre.”
Booklist (starred review)
“[A] crackling literary mystery. . . . Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levels of gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously written to boot.”
The Tuscon Citizen
“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.”
Booklist
"[A] crackling literary mystery. . . . Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levels of gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously written to boot."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594460824
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Justin Evans

Justin Evans, the author of A Good and Happy Child, is a digital media executive in New York City, where he lives with his wife and their two children.

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Read an Excerpt

The White Devil

A Novel
By Justin Evans

HarperCollins

Copyright © 2011 Justin Evans
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-172827-3


Chapter One

ANDREW TAYLOR STOOD alone before a gate. The growl of his taxi
pulling away had long since faded. A sky, whipped by winds, changing
preternaturally, galloped overhead: clouds, sun, low-slung fog,
in rapid succession. So this was English weather. The place felt wet.
A smoky smell (bracken, burnt by gardeners) stung his nose. From
somewhere close, a church bell rang. He was on a high hilltop, a few
miles to the northwest in the swirl of suburbia flung off by London.
The taxi had dropped him on the High Street, a twist of road lined
with whitewashed shops, three-story town houses, and weary-looking
trees leaning out of holes cut in the pavement. There were views to
the north, more hills, rolling away, each stamped with a chain link of
identical suburban homes: brown brick, chimney, walled yard. Until he
saw the gate, and the eccentric building that would be his new home,
he thought he might have come to the wrong place. This was supposed
to be a school for England's elite. That's what his father had told him.
You don't know how lucky you are, he had said—repeatedly. But Andrew
had attended schools for the elite. And in his experience, they were
sprawling green campuses, with golf courses and big gymnasiums and
gleaming dining centers . . . not buildings distributed along a street. Yet
here he was. Twenty-five High Street, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middle-
sex. Same address as on the welcome packet, on the brochure, on the
welcome letter from his housemaster. And it looked like a fucking time
warp.
First, there was the name. The Lot. It bore the funk of English
eccentricity. Andrew already felt allergic to it. Back at Frederick
Williams Academy, in Connecticut, the houses were named after donors.
Andrew had been two years in Davidson, two in Griswold, and his
senior year—the most decadent by far, in a large double room, per-
fumed by bong water and unwashed clothes—in Noel House. But the
lot rose before him now, a shambling Victorian mansion, ascending
four stories to an old-fashioned cross-gabled roof. It was constructed
of moldering red brick, with triangular nooks and attic rooms pointing
upward, arrow like, in various spots, while over the door—and else-
where, wherever a lintel presented a broad hunk of brick—there were
carvings on agricultural themes. Hay and scythes. Sunshine and tilling
Moss, soot, and old grit competed for residence in the thin lines of
mortar. A low wall, of the same red brick, encircled the place. Between
the wall and the house lay a driveway of beige gravel, like a pebbly
moat. The arms of the wall met in a gate: two square brick posterns,
topped by cast-iron lanterns. Andrew felt his heart sink. This place
was dank, cramped, old. The year he would stay here suddenly seemed
wearingly long.
I don't want to hear a word of complaint out of you. I moved mountains to
get you in there.
Andrew's father's voice entered his head, unbidden. As it had a
tendency to do. Fierce, southern-accented, accusatory. When Andrew was
younger he used to hear it in the shower, arising from the babble of the
water pounding the bathtub. He would stop the shower, get out, dripping,
and stand in the doorway calling Yes? Yes, Daddy? when it had
been nothing. Just the guilt; the internal clock telling him it had been
several hours since he heard the hammer and tongs of that voice. And
Andrew had heard the voice plenty this past summer.
I sold the last of Grandfather's shares for this. Sold them for pennies, in
this market, to get your sorry ass out of trouble. What a waste, his father had
ranted. What a failure for us all. Ah, me, he would groan. I never thought
I would see this happen. Never.
That was the speech designed to stamp out any complaints about the
school. Harrow School. The brochure had made it look like a miniseries
on PBS. Scrubbed British schoolboys in jackets and ties and odd,
tidy straw hats, which, his father informed him with some relish, were
the tradition of the school. Choirboys. Andrew knew the school was
prestigious. He knew he was lucky—sort of. But he couldn't forget
that he wasn't here because he wanted to be here; not even because he
deserved to be. Far from it. It was to get him out of sight, quickly. Off,
across the Atlantic, to some cross between reform school and finishing
school. So that his college applications would have a new listing at the
top. So he would have a new set of teachers and administrators to write
recs. So the last five years at Frederick Williams Academy would be
just a footnote. I went to the prestigious Harrow School . . . and oh, yes,
the equally prestigious Frederick Williams Academy. But the less said about
that, the better. Maybe, with college applications bragging international
experience, the gap between his ninetieth-percentile SATs and his C
grades would stand out less. Maybe phrases like doesn't apply himself . . .
tests well, but lazy . . . and most recently, the packed euphemism
discipline issues would seem less prominent.
Despite the urgent circumstances, the welcome packet for Harrow
School had impressed his father. There was the school crest: a prancing
lion, heraldic symbols, a Latin motto. Bragging rights: seven prime
ministers had attended the school, including Winston Churchill.
Andrew's father had puffed with pride. The Taylors, in his view, were
aristocrats. There had been the family plantations in Louisiana. There
had been the great-great-uncle, the Civil War admiral, with a battleship
named for him (every few years they got hats from some pal of
his dad's in the navy—dark blue with orange stitching: U.S.S. Taylor).
And grandfather Taylor had been president of a contact lens
manufacturer, Hirsch & Long, had made a small fortune in stock, and had
been quite a grandee in Killingworth, Connecticut, living in a lovingly
restored farmhouse—a landmark—with stone walls around a generous
property. Never mind that Andrew's father had floundered for
years at American Express, bridling that he'd risen to be no more than
a mere vice president, passed over for promotion to executive rank (due,
no doubt, to his temper, and his poorly concealed snobbery); or that
Hirsch & Long stock had foundered since the introduction of laser
surgery and cheap Chinese imports; or that Andrew, the grandson,
was now a certified screw up. Never mind that there was no fortune or
prestigious career to raise them to the upper echelon of Connecticut or
New York society. They would be damned if they were middle class.
They were American aristocrats, Andrew's father thought. They had
the stamp of quality. The Taylors deserved Harrow School. In the eyes
of his father, this was a homecoming, not an exile.
But all his son could see were rules. Infantilizing, seemingly infinite
rules. A tiny, prim pamphlet Andrew received, titled "Newboys
Guide," helpfully pointed them out.
No drinking.
No smoking.
No eating in the street.
No leaving the Hill without a chit. (Whatever that was.)
Boys must wear their Harrow hat to classes.
Boys must wear school uniform at all times. Except on Sundays, when
Sunday dress is mandatory.
No wearing light-colored raincoats to school meetings. (This one left
him speechless.)
No food in the rooms.
Boys must "cap" the masters when passing on the street—raise one
finger to the brim of the Harrow hat.
For ladies or the Headmaster, boys must raise the Harrow hat.
Then there was the copious supply of precious, arcane jargon—cute
nicknames, presumably developed over centuries, referring to every
aspect of the school. The Newboys Guide offered a lexicon.
Shell = boy in first form. (Seventh grade, Andrew retranslated.)
Remove = boy in second form.
Eccer = exercise.
Bluer = boys' school jacket, made of blue wool.
Greyers = boys' school trousers, made of grey wool.
Beak = master (Teacher, Andrew retranslated.)
And so it went. Andrew felt the claws of claustrophobia on him,
sinking deeper with every repetition of the word boy.
An all-boys' school.
He felt awkward in guy groups. Remote and prickly, he was stung
by the joshing of sporty types. His subjugation to his father made him
hate bullies and provided fuel for outbursts of violent temper when
confronted with casual cruelty in the dormitory halls. And generally
wasting time with friends made him anxious. It seemed inefficient. He
could waste time so much better on his own.
On the contrary, he liked girls. They sought him out at parties and
at school socials—that is, when he deigned to go. He would hang back
and make sarcastic remarks or sneak off smoking, or better yet make
plans to have a bottle of liquor available and get plastered with some
small side group. Most Saturdays, by ten o'clock check-in, he would
be untangling himself from some girl's bra and licking the Southern
Comfort and punch that had been deposited, secondhand, around
the rim of his mouth. The bohemian girls—the dancers, the hippie
chicks—thought he was one of them, with his black T-shirts and angry
rebellious questions in class and citations of obscure or otherwise cool
literary figures (Mr. Wheeler, why can't we read any Brautigan? Or
Bukowksi?); and the preppie girls—the ones inclined to slum with the
druggie kids—would sometimes venture his way as well. Summers,
back at home in Killingworth, it was another story altogether. Girls
with big hair and obvious perfume bought the package of Boarding
School and Long Luxurious Black Hair. They would drink two or
three beers and let him do what he wanted to them.
To get locked away on a hilltop with a few hundred boys made him
nervous in a way he couldn't completely comprehend. What happened
when the girls, the sunshine, and the warmth were on the outside and
you were on the inside, chilly, English, and isolated? It would be like
passing a year in a meat locker.
Andrew squatted and gripped his heavy bags, and heaved one of
them over his shoulder. He stood but he did not advance; he could not
cross, not yet. The lanterns stared at him balefully; dirty and unlit. He
felt that if he crossed that threshold, he would step into the nineteenth
century and be lost there. You'd better get every damn thing right, his
father's voice came to him. Low profile. No rock bands (a reference to
Andrew's band, the One-Eyed Bandits, a favorite excuse for all-weekend
bacchanals; cases of cheap beer and jam sessions until daylight). No
school plays (Andrew had been busted for smoking outside rehearsals—
twice). No party weekends (plenty of stories there). Homework and home.
That's your mantra. You make this good or we're through with you. Andrew
sensed the seriousness in his father's voice. The anger in the eyes. The
desperation. We're through with you. Could his father really mean it? Cut
him off? Throw him out of the house? Not pay for college? Andrew
did not think of himself as spoiled, but the consequences of his parents
being through with him, at seventeen, seemed hard. He knew the
kids from Killingworth who never left the small town. Who worked in
retail, or ended up as contractors—painters, landscapers, the guys who
drove around in vans, eyes red from the joints they passed. We're
through with you. Did he want to test his father's resolve? To find out
what through meant? He was jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, hungry . . . no.
Not today he didn't.
He breathed deep and took his first step onto Harrow School property.
Squelch. Into a puddle.
Fuck. Figures.
He shuffled across the gravel, trying not to drop a bag.
APPARENTLY HE WAS early.
"You're not due till five," snapped the woman who opened the door.
She had frosted hair, over mascara'd lashes, and icy blue eyes that might
have once been pretty. Now she was all bosom and belly. She wiped
her hand on a towel. Off to the right, through the vestibule, Andrew
could see a door opened to a small apartment; a lunch tray; the glow of
a television.
"I'm supposed to live here now," he said emphatically. "I don't have
anywhere else to go."
"American," she observed, glaring at him. "Everything on your
own time."
"Unfortunately there weren't any flights to Heathrow scheduled to
land when the maid was ready."
"Maid?" she drew herself up, angrily. "I am Matron."
Was this a name, or a title? She announced it with ontological pride,
as if Matron was an element in the periodic table, and she was made
of it.
"And I've been traveling since last night. May I please come in?"
Matron—the Matron?—took a theatrical step to one side and let
him through with a resigned sigh.
THE LOT, IN keeping with its appearance, was something of a mess
inside. Old glossy paint; battered bulletin boards; an overall dimness.
The fumes of a disinfectant hung about, as if the place had been
mopped in a hurry to prepare for the incoming boarders. Stairwells
and passages spun outward from the main foyer. Up three flights of
stairs—made of heavy slate, worn in the center by many years' use—
Matron led Andrew to his room. It shared a short corridor with three
other rooms—all Sixth Formers, Matron told him (seniors, he silently
translated). Its ceiling was slanted, giving it a cozy feel.
"I suppose you'd like a tour," grumbled Matron.
The Lot, she said, bustling up to the next story, was really two
houses: this one—the original, with all the character—and a new one,
constructed onto the back of the original. She whirled him along
passages and hallways. The house held sixty boys, Shells to Sixth Form.
Wooden plaques with the names of the house's former residents carved into
them (Gascoigne, M.B.H.; Lodge, J.O.M. The Hon; Podmore, H.J.T. ) lined
the walls of the longer corridors; upstairs there were common rooms with
satellite TV and kitchenettes. Downstairs there was a snooker room, music
rooms, shower, and baths. (Snooker? he wondered.) They passed a filthy
brick pit with a net covering that Matron referred to as the yarder—clearly
a place to play, blow off steam in bad weather. A few abandoned balls were
trapped in its webbing like inedible flies.
Then they descended a narrow stair into a warren of tight passages
and low ceilings.
"This the basement?" Andrew asked. He felt a chill crawl up his
arms. "It's cold. Feels like someone left the fridge door open."
Matron shot him a look of annoyance. "You must have caught
something on the plane."
He began to respond—Hey, I wasn't criticizing—but stopped.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The White Devil by Justin Evans Copyright © 2011 by Justin Evans. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Start

    The White Devil starts out promisingly enough, but some 200 pages in it loses what charm it had and just goes downhill. The ending is most unsatisfying. Would that the author had been able to keep the story going as well as it started.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    So much potential!

    First off...I would like to give this a 3.5 star review. Justin Evans writes well. Nothing irritates me more than an author who has come up with a great story but writes poorly. Mr. Evans will not let you down if style is important to you. What I did not like about this book was that not a single person had a hard time coming to terms with Andrew's assertion that he was being stalked by a ghost. Even if the ghost was part of the school's lore, you'd think some level of doubt would be natural. Not so in The White Devil. Very unrealistic. Other than that, though, this was a good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great book

    Justin Evans is a fantastic writer. Loved this book. It has a story that keeps one entertained.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Amazing Ghost Story, Couldn't Put It Down!

    Review: I received this book as an ARC through Shelf Awareness. I thought it sounded interesting (I love a good ghost story), but I wasn't prepared for how much I would like this book! It was such a pleasant surprise; a book full mystery, intrigue, romance, and humor. Twists around every corner. Just like I like 'em!

    When this book started out I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. The beginning is a little slow, with the main character Andrew getting adjusted to life at the esteemed Harrow school. His parents made him aware that this is his last chance; if he gets in trouble at this school they will cut all ties with him. He's kind of bitter for being sent to Europe, away from everything he knows into a very unfamiliar culture, but he also doesn't want to disappoint his parents so he tries his best. I definitely felt bad for Andrew, I can't imagine being sent overseas to a school where I didn't know anyone and where the things they say and do are very different from her in America. He's definitely singled out right away and some of the guys pick on him. On his tour through the building, he gets a weird feeling in the basement, an eerie feeling of someone else being in there with them. This is not the last time he feels this way throughout the book.

    I have to say, I loved the characters. They were very well developed; while the story mainly focused on Andrew's point of few, occasionally it switched to another character (most often Fawkes). Sometimes when books do this it really puts me off and irritates me. I thought it was well done here and the different points of view really enhanced the story. I really loved Persephone, she was such a tough chick. She didn't take any crap from Andrew or anybody else; I guess to be the only girl in an all-boy school you'd have to be tough and be able to take the mostly unwanted admiration and leers from the boys. I thought Fawkes was a great character too. I didn't like him too much at first, but when he became more involved with Andrew (after he confided in him about the ghost) I really started to see another side of him. That he actually was capable of caring about someone else's well-being.

    I really liked the mystery of this book. Some of the twists I had figured out, some caught me completely by surprise. The main point is it kept me reading; when the story picked up it really took off and it was impossible to put down! And I'm not a huge fan of history but I liked learning about Lord Byron. I kept wondering how much of it was truth and how much fiction, so I looked him up just to see. It seems as though the part about Byron having relationships with other boys while at Harrow is very much true. It was all very interesting to read.

    The only thing I didn't like was the ending, it seemed too abrupt to me. I was left wishing there was more of it. However, the book was still an amazing read. Even if you don't like historical books (which I usually don't) I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    readers will enjoy this spooky fast-paced tale

    Due to heroin use, seventeen years old Andrew Taylor is expelled from elite Frederick Williams Academy, a Connecticut prep school catering to the affluent. His father provides an exorbitant gift to Harrow in England, which gets Andrew into the school. Andrew is excited over one thing, the Housemaster Sir Alan Vine's daughter Persephone.

    Andrew is at a nearby cemetery on Harrow-on-the-Hill when he witnesses the murder of a student Theo Ryder who resided in the rundown haunted Lot dorm. The culprit is a gaunt skeletal person wearing a very old style frock coat. Feeling ill Andrew suffers from nightmares. He also learns that an emaciated person looking like the killer appeared in a performance of John Webster's The White Devil at Harrow in 1803. At the same time, he struggles with what his senses imply; Andrew plays Byron in acrimonious alcoholic housemaster Piers Fawkes's play because the American looks like the late romantic era poet. However, the American exiled teen begins to assimilate Byron's exotic life while tuberculosis spreads amidst those at the school and the bizarre takes control of Andrew's section of Harrow.

    The connection between the modern day and the romantic period is clever as Byron's "true" love ties the American with the late poet in this harrowing haunted school story. Although requiring a leap of faith over Big Ben as too many of the cast easily accepts the existence of a ghost, readers will enjoy this spooky fast-paced tale of an American attending Harrow.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    My Review

    I enjoyed this book because it incorporates a well known historical figure with fiction. The tale was well written and keeps you reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The 411 by Maria: Before kids, I was a big fan of Stephen King a

    The 411 by Maria:
    Before kids, I was a big fan of Stephen King and read everything by him and authors in the same genre. A Stephen King quote on the cover and I was in! Soooo...I really wanted to like this book.

    It took me over two weeks to read which kinda tells me that I wasn't really into it. I like the idea of Andrew, an American being sent to a rich boarding school and I like the idea of a ghost haunting the school but I didn't connect with the story at all.

    There were moments when I thought, ahhh finally, I like this..things are getting better but it just never got there for me. I appreciate the fact that the story incorporates the non-fictional Lord Byron and his life at Harrow School and mashups of reality with fiction are interesting to me but I can't put my finger on what would have made this better for me which is why I have always referred to myself as the Amateur Book Reviewer because really, what do I know.

    What I did like was the ghost hunt and the visions of the ghost and his ability to give people a life threatening disease. Creepy and a little disturbing.

    It took me over two weeks to read which kinda tells me that I wasn't really into it. I like the idea of Andrew, an American being sent to a rich boarding school and I like the idea of a ghost haunting the school but I didn't connect with the story at all.

    There were moments when I thought, ahhh finally, I like this..things are getting better but it just never got there for me. I appreciate the fact that the story incorporates the non-fictional Lord Byron and his life at Harrow School and mashups of reality with fiction are interesting to me but I can't put my finger on what would have made this better for me which is why I have always referred to myself as the Amateur Book Reviewer because really, what do I know.

    What I did like was the ghost hunt and the visions of the ghost and his ability to give people a life threatening disease. Creepy and a little disturbing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Great book

    I did not want to put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Not a typical ghost story.

    Well written. This story wont give you nightmares but was entertaining and kept my interest. Characters were likable and believable. Well worth the quick read!!

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    A fresh unique read . .

    Interesting premise that combined a little historical fiction, a little of the occult, with a little spiritual redemption. I look forward to reading more of Justin Evans work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Very Entertaining!

    At the beginning of the story we meet Andrew Taylor, a prep school screw up. Andrew has been sent to Harrow School in England by his father to try and to rehabilitate his college credentials. Andrew feels a lot like Holden Caulfiend at first, but winds up having too many redeeming qualities. The thing that makes this book impossible to put down is the mystery of the ghost in the Lot, his dormitory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Good premise, poor execution.

    This novel had a fantastic idea and just let it explode upon itself. Another reviewer commented on the ending being completely unsatisfying. How else could you explain with the rising tension about to climax for our hero Andrew ... to spend all night writing an essay? Some of the dialogue prompted me to bust out laughing at the most inappropriate scenes. If you can rent, lend, or borrow- save the space on your ereader.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inventive Plot - Great Reading!

    When American Andrew Taylor, a teen with a troubled past, arrives at one of England's top preparatory schools, he's in for way more than he bargained for. For starters, he's a dead ringer for the stunningly good-looking poet Lord Byron, who graduated from the same school over 200 years ago. Byron, to put it kindly, was not the most endearing of lovers; when he tired of a paramour, whether male or female, they were dumped cruelly and without remorse. Now it's payback time, as one of his earliest victims, a charity student at the time, returns in spirit to haunt not just Andrew, but those at the school he loves and cares about. Never mind what you've heard about how ghosts can't hurt you; this one is more lethal than a murderous stalker. Author Evans manages to make the reader (and Andrew) feel both terror and sympathy for this boy. And Andrew's ultimate resolution is breathtaking. Absolutely riveting reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

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    Posted January 27, 2012

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    Posted June 30, 2011

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    Posted June 21, 2011

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

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