The Supernatural Enhancements is a ghost story, a paranormal mystery, and a treasure hunt. Cantero weaves his narrative out of journal entries, letters, notes, video footage, audio recordings, psychiatrist reports, and excerpts from books on ghosts and cryptology. This style is not for everyone, and can be initially distracting, but Cantero makes good use of the conceit to conceal and reveal information without it ever feeling overtly manipulative.
When the owner of Axton House, Ambrose Wells, commits suicide in precisely the same manner and at precisely the same age as his father before him, his second cousin, known only as A., finds himself the unexpected heir to an estate and family he never knew existed. With his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl, A. attempts to uncover a dark family secret. Writing daily to their confidant, Aunt Liza, they are confronted with a century old conspiracy, cryptic clues, mysterious gatherings, a missing butler, and rumors of ghosts and murder. Worst of all, A. is suffering terrible dreams, identical to those of his Uncle before his death.
The Supernatural Enhancements luxuriates in its atmosphere, and in the joys of puzzle solving and ghost hunting. The relationship between A. and Niamh is ambiguous yet strongly drawn. Other characters are less developed appearing and disappearing as needed. There are two central mysteries at the heart of the novel, and the most interesting and deeply rooted one is answered first, leaving the ending somewhat anti-climactic. It is, nevertheless, an atmospheric and engrossing gothic novel set in the recent past.
**Received copy from NetGalley for Review