An intrinsically woven story, laced with hints of humour and deeper issues.
Trelawney Hart is a very well-rounded, 3D character. It's not hard to both love and hate him. He's a complete arsehole, but has also somehow managed to become one of my favourite fictional characters.
Incredibly researched, with an very distinct voice, Conversations with Spirits is a must read for fans of Sherlock Holmes. I drew the parallels between Hart and Holmes almost immediately. However, Hart is infinitely more human. His friendship with Billy was a source of happiness throughout the book. I loved the scenes of them together.
Beneath Hart's facade of drunken arseholishness lies deep grief. Having lost his wife, he seeks comfort from seances and the idea of the afterlife, until his cold, logical side caught up, turning him into the sceptic of sceptics.
Therefore, it was incredibly cruel what Price and Beasant did to him during the seance. Unravelling such a hard character really got to me. This was the part of the book that affected me the most.
Higgins is an author to watch. In fact, I'm incredibly disappointed there isn't another title of his that I can turn to immediately. Mr Higgins, if you read this, please take note of my displeasure. I demand another novel. You have too much talent to stop at one book!
Also, just adding my two cents for the fan cast - Ewan McGregor would be a perfect Trelawney, in my mind. In fact, I was picturing him throughout the book.
This is a very quotable novel, and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. Well done, Mr Higgins, have yourself a cherry brandy.