Published: September 2011
Summary: GoodreadsMeet Jud Lester: Paranormal Investigator. When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, the Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team (or CRYPT for short) is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent. Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet...people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked - yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen. Can Jud and Bex work out what has caused the spirits of these dangerous men to return to the streets of London before they wreak more death and destruction?
The Gallows Curse start off with a huge bang and the action does not stop until the last pages. Ghost action that is. These are not your Casper the friendly ghost types at all. We're talking spectral bad guys with a major case of sour grapes, and they are out to get anyone who gets in their way, and they don't care how much blood they have to shed to get their revenge.
I you are not into ghostly violence, this is definitely NOT the book for you! Jud and Bex are the youth leaders of a group of covert teens who check out ghostly disturbances in London. Jud has some problems, and he gets violent. So much so that I was feeling a little uncomfortable at times. I understand the reasons behind his actions and I was able to empathize a little, but he disturbed me. Which I guess just goes to show what a well written character he was. Bex is nicely kick-ass without being OTT and she acted as a nice balance to Jud.
Spoiler alert - no romance in this one, so be warned. This is ghost hunting at its grittiest. No warm and fuzzies, just lots of attitude, blood and violence. The main bad guy, Zakis, is perhaps a little bit of a caricature, but he works and it's major fun seeing how he gets his come-upance.
I found myself wondering if I picked up on the reasons for the hauntings early on because I went to school in England so I knew the history behind the story, but maybe not. I got mad at one point because Jud kept seeming to miss the connection, but it really was just clever plotting on Mr Hammonds' part. I enjoyed The Gallows Curse as a change of pace from what I've been reading lately and recommend it for guys, and girls, looking for a bit of blood and guts. Maybe not a good one for anyone with a queasy stomach though!