Apologies to Char who I know loves this book, but...
I didn't enjoy it.
On the one hand, as with The Elementals, the sense of place that McDowell evokes in his writing and the pervasive wrongness is extraordinarily effective. For that alone I would have offered a solid four or five stars. However, the characterisation was poor in this book and I love being able to empathise with characters and understand their motivations. Without those aspects I will always struggle to truly engage with a book. None of the characters felt real or sympathetic in any way.
The sheriff was lazy and stupid beyond belief, and the villains were Laurel and Hardyesque caricatures of evil, as portrayed by the moustached villain in a top hat laughing as they tie their victim to train tracks, there was nothing there that made them feel real at all. The other characters were just annoying.
The ghost was another bugbear, and the way this "mystery" was wrapped neatly with an earlier thread made me yawn. I have seen people rave about this book, especially fellow horror lovers, but it simply didn't move me. In fairness I was almost gripped near the end, but part of that might have been an eagerness to start my next read.
Posting this review on Booklikes was a Herculean test of my patience. Why is the site so slow and buggy???