The Holy Terrors

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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 09 Feb 2024

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Description

Six people locked in a haunted hall . . . Cameras watching their every move . . . And then someone dies . . . This first in a spine-tingling new paranormal mystery series from New York Times bestselling British fantasy author Simon R. Green will make you doubt your judgement - and believe in ghosts!

Welcome to Spooky Time, the hit TV ghost-hunting show where the horror is scripted . . . and the ratings are declining rapidly. What better way to up the stakes - and boost the viewership - than by locking a select group of Z-list celebrities up for the night in The Most Haunted Hall in England (TM) and live-streaming the 'terrifying' results?

Soon Alistair, a newly appointed Bishop, actress Diana, medium Leslie, comedian Toby and celebrity chef Indira are trapped inside Stonehaven town hall, along with June, the host and producer of the show. The group tries to settle in and put on a good show, but then strange things start happening in their hall of horrors.

What is it about this place - and why is the TV crew outside not responding? Are they even on air? Logical Alistair and intuitive Diana attempt to keep the group's fears at bay and rationalize the odd events, but there are things that just can't be explained within reason . . . Can the pair stop a cold-blooded would-be killer - even if it's come from beyond the grave?

This locked-room mystery with a paranormal twist is classic Simon R. Green, featuring his trademark humour and imagination, irresistible characters, and thoroughly entertaining plotting.

Six people locked in a haunted hall . . . Cameras watching their every move . . . And then someone dies . . . This first in a spine-tingling new paranormal mystery series from New York Times...


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ISBN 9781448311637
PRICE $29.99 (USD)
PAGES 192

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Average rating from 92 members


Featured Reviews

I'm a huge Simon R Gren fan, but this book did not meet his normal standards for excitement and intrigue. I absolutely love his Nightside and Deathstalker and Hawk & Fisher books.
I would still like to thank NetGalley for the chance to read this book early. Even though it fell short, I still enjoyed reading the style. Anyone who reads Simon R Green either loves his flippant conversational style or they cannot enjoy his books. I personally love it, and always feel that I'm on an adventure.
In this case, the adventure is a group of people brought together for a paranormal reality TV show. Is it haunted? Do ghosts exist? And of course there's a murder.
Unfortunately, nothing happens for most of the books, and when things do start happening, they don't really make sens with what we already know of the characters.
Still, with my experience of the author, my disappointment with the first in this series won't keep me from reading everything else by him, and I highly encourage everyone who loves urban fantasy to give him a try.

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Great spooky read!
A group of minor celebrities are locked together in a haunted hall for a reality show. Strange happenings lead to a death, and there is no way out!
Brilliant writing, characters and scenery. I was hooked as the plot evolved,with lots of humour too.
Looking forward to the next in the series, excellent read!

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Thank you to Severn House (publisher) and Simon R. Green (author) for granting me access to this ARC through NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Six persons trapped into a house is a common enough setting to be its own trope by now, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing - for me it is one that I tend to actively seek out. It seems like a simple enough setting, but I have found that writing a story like this can make for a lot of different variation and requires real skill to make it work.

The dialogues and interactions between the six characters in "The Holy Terrors" worked really well and the writing was of high quality. The narrator/main character Alistair I think was written to be the most likeable character of the lot, even though I found him a bit too much. Likeability wasn't that much of a factor in the story though, it was credibility - they all came off as quite flawed persons, ranging from sorta-annoying to I-can't-believe-no one-is-punching-them-in-the-face-annoying. That just this sort of group would come together in this setting: the last big effort to save a dying reality show, was also quite realistic.

The entire story takes place during just one night, which is too short a timeframe for any character growth to be expected. I do feel that some more character depth might have been beneficial though. This could potentially have been achieved by switching out the narrator every now and then and letting the other characters speak, so to say. As for Alistair, some more introspective thought on his part, revealing his history and feelings would also have been helpful to create more of an immersive atmosphere and helped the reader actually care more about the fate of the characters.

A lot of great books have been ruined by being made into disappointing movies. For the second time within a month I do however find myself thinking that this book would benefit from being made into a movie. The superb writing when it comes to setting up the dialogue and creating the right sort of personalities in this setting could then better be the actual focus, when the atmosphere would be created visually and with auditory effects. Then the introspective thoughts I recommended above would also be irrelevant as that is not much of a thing in most movies.

The biggest problem this book has though, in my opinion, is in the marketing: how it is presented to the reader. It's described as a paranormal mystery, which sets the reader to have certain expectations that are not being filled. Sure, the setting is a spooky show, but that is not enough to warrant it being called "paranormal". It would have to delve much deeper into paranormal than it does for filling the expectations the reader gets from that description. Market the book as a "murder mystery" instead and I think the reception would change quite a bit as the expectations would be different; more open as the setting for such allows for a wider range of happenings and playouts. Readers would not be as easily disappointed then, as their expectations would be less narrowed down.

I am giving this book 3,5/5 stars, which I round up to 4. This rating due to that the book itself was very well written - albeit a bit more depth would have been preferrable - and the biggest issue is that my expectations due to the description was way different than how the book turned out to be, and that does create a bit of a discrepancy in how I think of the book while reading it and an overall more negative view.

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I’m glad I didn’t listen to the brutal reviews. This book was great and well-written. It seems to me people are mad because they aren’t getting something like his previous series. This is an entirely new series with new characters though! It’s different from anything he’s written, and that’s the point! I’m positive that if he had been writing in this vein for his whole career, people wouldn’t have such a bug up their a—. Like I said, the book was well-written and I quite enjoyed it. The characterization was great. I love the partnership between Alistair and Diana, and June was the type of character you can’t help but hate. Great setting too, I can see it being turned into a movie!

Huge thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for sending me this ARC for review! All of my reviews are given honestly!

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What an absolute ride this book was. It gave me all the creepy and eerie vibes that I thought it would. I devoured this in 5 hours, a great story and really likeable characters that make you want to cheer them on! I honestly didn't know what to believe, and when the ending finally revealed its secrets, I was relieved but shocked. Definitely check this one out, released on February 6th, 2024.

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I’ve been reading this author for a while, including the series started before this one, so my expectations were already set by the time I started this latest series by him. One thing this author doesn’t lack is dialogue. He uses it a lot instead of painting a picture, but that is something I got used to with this author. It did take a little while to get to the heart of the story (i.e., the first murder), and that bogs down the book some. After that, the plot picks up, and it’s a race to the finish. I understand and mostly agree with all the criticisms about this book, but I also enjoyed it. As I read to enjoy myself and to be entertained, this book met those criteria. It isn’t perfect, but it was fun and well-written. 3 ½ rounded up. Recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

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When the has been actress Diane and the Priest Alastair showed up to Stonehaven Townhall to do The Spooky Time show they were the first two there which was a good thing for Alastair because Diane gave him the rundown on the phone he haunted house show. The show invited for well-known personalities to I’ve already mentioned and the other two or a comedian named Toby and a popular game show chef name Indina rounding up the group would be the “psychic“ Leslie in the shows host and producer June. June is ruthless and only cares about the shows the success they will all be locked in Stonehaven town hall for the night and although Alastair initially thinks the show is phoning something June and Leslie know for certain, but the ramifications of their being locked in the hall will be far from imaginary. It seems as far as the contestants go everyone has picked their person and asked for the rest they seem to not get along with them well everyone except for Alastair he is like the father trying to keep all the kids in line including the host. June wants everyone to play it up and pretend to hear stuff and wants the others to go along with it but when they really do hear footsteps and one of them really does die it all becomes way too real. I don’t know if it was intentional but they had some very funny things in the sport and it’s British humor something iPhone so hilarious but they do have some scary moments in the book all in all it was a really great book I enjoyed it thoroughly read it in one setting it isn’t that long and it’s truly an enjoyable read it is a horror story with the locked in the house trope with over the top personalities and I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly highly recommend it. this is the first book I have read by Simon or green but I will not be the last. I want to thank the author the publisher and NetGalley for my free arc copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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This was such a great start to a paranormal mystery series, I always enjoy when people get locked in a haunted place and things go bad. It does everything that I was hoping for from the description and the characters were perfect. I enjoyed going through this with world and thought Simon R. Green did a fantastic job writing this.

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Take the rural Stonehaven Town Hall or “The Most Haunted Hall in England” as the locals call it, hoping for an increase in tourists. Add June and Leslie, producer and medium, of the failing reality TV show Spooky Times. And finally mix in four D list celebrities: Toby Marsh, a second rate comedian with health problems, Indira Singh, once a star chef, Diana Hunt, an actor looking for publicity and better roles, and finally Alistair Kincaid, an Anglican Bishop and frequent guest on morning TV. The plan for the show is to lock them all in the Town Hall overnight, film their stay on live TV and see who makes it through, sane and alive, to morning. Nothing goes according to the “plan”. There are surprise power outages, strange noises, missing possessions, more noises, confessions and death. Alistair and Diana stay together while trying to discover whether the killer they seek is human…or not.

Spooky Time is fun and not totally frightening. It doesn’t need to be. Talented author Simon R. Green has given us memorable characters, especially Bishop Alistair and his partner Diana, and bad behavior by both humans and spirits. While most of the group focuses on the spirit world, Alistair has other ideas. I hope this is the start of a new series. I can’t wait for what comes next. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Severn House and Simon R. Green for this ARC.

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"Six people locked in a haunted hall...Cameras watching their every move...And then someone dies...This first in a spine-tingling new paranormal mystery series from New York Times bestselling British fantasy author Simon R. Green will make you doubt your judgement - and believe in ghosts!

Welcome to Spooky Time, the hit TV ghost-hunting show where the horror is scripted...and the ratings are declining rapidly. What better way to up the stakes - and boost the viewership - than by locking a select group of Z-list celebrities up for the night in The Most Haunted Hall in England (TM) and live-streaming the 'terrifying' results?

Soon Alistair, a newly appointed Bishop, actress Diana, medium Leslie, comedian Toby, and celebrity chef Indira are trapped inside Stonehaven town hall, along with June, the host and producer of the show. The group tries to settle in and put on a good show, but then strange things start happening in their hall of horrors.

What is it about this place - and why is the TV crew outside not responding? Are they even on air? Logical Alistair and intuitive Diana attempt to keep the group's fears at bay and rationalize the odd events, but there are things that just can't be explained within reason...Can the pair stop a cold-blooded would-be killer - even if it's come from beyond the grave?

This locked-room mystery with a paranormal twist is classic Simon R. Green, featuring his trademark humour and imagination, irresistible characters, and thoroughly entertaining plotting."

I mean, how else but by adding a dash of the paranormal can you up the locked-room story? Bravo!

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The first of what seems to be a new series is a stand alone locked room mystery. It's a little different than your standard SRG entry but the bones are there so, while this might appeal as an introduction to his work, it doesn't leave current fans wondering what the heck happened. A mix of guests is locked in overnight in the most haunted building in England for a standard ghost hunting show when guests suddenly start dropping dead. Are there homicidal spirits afoot? Or is one of them a murderer? Enjoy the mystery but don't get too attached to the guests!

This review is based on an advance copy that I received for free.

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An enjoyable, though a bit predictable, story. From the start I strongly expected the deaths in the story, and shortly after the first was sure who the killer was. However, the story is written well e ought that even though I found it a bit predictable I enjoyed most of the story.

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Yet another great read can't wait to find out what happens... Keep them coming. Such an unusual format, a great imagination that is able to come up with such plausible storylines.....I am completely engrossed with the characters, A Supernatural locked room mystery....all about a TV ghost hunting show and to boost ratings they start live streaming....then the strange things start to happen!!!! Is it scripted or is it truly supernatural???

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This is not my favourite Simon Green novels, there were a couple of moments when I was woundering "What would Ishmael do?"
If this is the beginning of a new series there's a lot of potential, I had fun in reading the banters and the characters.
The problem is that it took a long time before something serious happened and it was a bit anticlimax.
I had fun, I'd like to read another book featuring some of these characters.
It can be appreciated if love this author.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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(I received this book from the editor and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
This is my first book by Simon R. Green but I am pretty sure it will not be the last. I entered this book just looking to have a good time, to read about not so bright characters I would love to see in front of some supernatural forces, some shenanigans...
And I was pleasantly surprised to see how wrong I was about the characters. There were a couple I was not sure whether to root for or not, but in general I found myself surrounded by complex people and I was eager to see their reaction to what was happening.
I really loved the “is this really happening” sensation of the whole novel, because it is not just the characters who are confused but the reader as well. In general, a quick, enjoyable read.

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4 Stars!

It had been a long time since I read anything by Simon R. Green and The Holy Terrors seemed like a great way to get reacquainted with the author. Touted as a “locked-room mystery with a paranormal twist,” this novel seemed like the perfect mix of mystery and horror on the outside, so I could not wait to sink my teeth into this mystery for a spine-tingling adventure.



Spooky Time was a ghost-hunting reality show that was low on reality and high on scripted scares. It was a formula that worked for a while but the show’s rating were in a free fall and cancellation seemed inevitable. June, the host and creator of the show, has the perfect way to save it: a live broadcast with a celebrity cast from The Most Haunted Hall in England. June set out to cast the show and was rebuffed by her first choices, so they were not the celebrities she wanted, but they would have to do. This is how Alistair, a bishop who hosted a morning religion show, finds himself locked in the hall over night with June, a medium, and actress, a comedian, and a celebrity chef.



Just having a live broadcast from a spooky location overnight may not be enough, especially with the Z-list celebrities she was able to get to sign on. June is not above manufacturing some scares, though, and is confident that she can pull this off. Once they are locked in and the show begins, however, her idea of scripted scares goes out the window with the first murder. This is definitely not what the guests had in mind, but it may just be the way to save the show. But only if they can stop the person, or ghost, who seems hell-bent on murder.



The Holy Terrors starts out with the introduction of the cast as they arrive for the show. Alistair takes the spotlight from the beginning and, to be honest, he is the most interesting character in a cast that lacks depth. The focus is definitely on him, which is not surprising since I am guessing the new series is going to build around him. There is enough conflict and depth in him to make him interesting. The rest of the cast seems disposable and, in fact, proves to be so over the course of the story. The storyline is a bit formulaic, especially at the beginning, but the book is an easy read and it flows quickly. I will admit that I was not immediately impressed or pulled into the book, but then things get interesting.



Once the story gets rolling and the cast is locked in the haunted hall, The Holy Terrors becomes a fast, fun read. Green throughs curves at the reader with abandon and leaves them questioning their thoughts and assumptions about what is really happening in the story. There is a simplicity to his prose that makes the convoluted story easy to navigate so that it never left me feeling bogged down. I thought there was a definite Agatha Christie vibe to this story that reminded me of my teenage years when I first discovered her books. It is clear that Green is a master of the genre adn this story is entertaining throughout. My one quibble would be that I figured out what was really happening very early on in the book (although I have been told that I am very good at that), but that did not diminish my enjoyment of the story much as it was interesting how green unravels the story. If you have not read anything by Green before, this is a great book pick him up. If you have read him before, it has been too long, even if you read his last book, and Green will remind you of just how good he is.



I would like to thank Severn House and NetGalley for this review copy. The Holy Terrors is scheduled to be released on February 6, 2024.

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British author Simon R. Green launches a Holy Terrors mystery series with the first book, The Holy Terrors. Expect a little humor, wordplay, the paranormal, and death with any new book by Green.

It’s an unusual group of six that gather at Stonehaven town hall, “the kind of place it wasn’t wise to turn your back on”. Alistair Kincaid, is the newly appointed bishop to All Souls Hollow, a tough neighborhood in London. Diana Hunt is a star of stage and screen who doesn’t have her pick of shows any longer. They’re joined by a professional comic, and a celebrity chef. Along with June Colby, the host and producer of “Spooky Times!”, and the show’s resident medium, the group is there for the filming of a reality show. They’ll all be locked in the hall overnight, and expected to overreact to anything that happens to them while locked in there.

But June hasn’t provided them with all of the background of the hall. They’re not all prepared for the strange sounds, and terrible conditions in the hall. Time and again, as the show’s “God-botherer”, Alistair finds himself acting as the voice of reason as others are angry or terrified. When the first death occurs, it’s obvious to Alistair that there is a murderer in their group.

Green has fun creating a terrifying atmosphere for a paranormal reality show, with all the expectations and the low caliber of celebrities involved. I guessed who the killer was quite early in the book, but it was fun to watch the bishop put everything together. And, the wordplay between him and the actress, Diana, was entertaining.

Without spoiling much, I can say Alistair Kincaid survives, probably to appear in the next book in the series. He’s another one of Green’s calm, intelligent heroes, one that will be fun to read about in the books that follow The Holy Terrors.

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Have you ever watched a TV ghost-hunting show? It’s rapidly losing ratings so it is trying to bring interest back by having a select group of celebrities.. Six people are gathered to spend the night in Stonehaven
a “the most haunted building in England. There are two hosts June and Leslie who is also a medium. Alister is a bishop, actress Diana, comedian Toby and Indira, a celebrity chef are the celebrities attending this episode. The four celebrities do not know each other (at least personally). The groups is taken on a tour. When June tells the that they are locked in the building all night with no way to escape. , they become upset. The group tries to settle but there are strange things happening. The crew don’t respond to respond to what they are seeing and experiencing. Alistair is attempting to keep the group calm logically but it doesn’t last. Why?

The author has written a scary, and chilling atmosphere for a paranormal reality show for tv. His plot is well written. It is a paranormal reality tv show “locked-room” mystery. I enjoyed the show called paranormal experiences that happened. The conversations within the group were well written. Overall, I enjoyed this first book of a series and look forward to reading the next one.

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First time reading Simon R Green, and really enjoyed the story. The characters were interesting and well thought out. The plot was definitely enjoyable, with good pacing. Will definitely be reading more from Simon R Green. #TheHolyTerrors #NetGalley

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was really enthralled with this book. I thought it was going to be a book about the supernatural and it turned out to be a whole different type of book. There were times I was just as baffled as Allistair as to what was happening. The book had a really great twist. I had fun reading this novel.

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