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Petra's Ghost

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  52 reviews
A man's pilgrimage becomes something from his darkest nightmares when secrets arise and ghosts haunt his path.

A woman has vanished on the Camino de Santiago, the ancient five-hundred-mile pilgrimage that crosses northern Spain. Daniel, an Irish expat, walks the lonely trail carrying his wife, Petra’s, ashes, along with the damning secret of how she really died.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 20th 2019 by Dundurn
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C.S. O’Cinneide I loved The Way, but other than a man spreading ashes it’s about as far from that story as you can get. Far too eerie for Martin Sheen!

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Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Petra’s Ghost is perhaps the biggest surprise of my reading so far this year. While the description of the book with a man walking the Camino, the “Way” in Spain, encountering physical and spiritual and possible extra-physical/spiritual challenges during the months long walk appealed to me, it did not prepare me for how compelling this story actually is. It is a tale of personal beliefs, fears and failures, the quest for personal truth and possible redemption in life. As one man he meets tells D ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
After reading this book, I want to walk the 500 mile Camino de Santiago (aka the Camino Way) myself. They say there are three parts to the Way; during the first part of the walk you find your body, along the second laborious trudge you find your mind and during that final homeward stretch you find your soul. It sounds extremely appealing sitting here on my couch reading about it from a distance but I can tell you if I ever do get the chance to walk the Way, I will be very lucky to find my way to ...more
Renee Godding
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars

“We all have our ghosts, Daniel” Rob says (…) “The question is not if they exist, it is what message do they bring.”

This beautifully haunting debut by author C.S. O’Cinneide had me immediately intrigued with its premise, yet still surprised me with how deeply I ended up enjoying it as a whole. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy via the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Let me tell you: it’s one of the best ARCs I’ve read this year.

We follow Daniel as he walks th
Chad Guarino
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Petra's Ghost is, as you'd expect from the title, a ghost story. However, the the true beating heart of this entertaining tale of pilgrimage is the theme of redemption and its many, often incomplete forms.

Admittedly, I went into this book not having ever heard of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient Spanish pilgrimage route. C.S. O'Cinneide draws here on her own experiences while walking the route in 2015, and I need to point out what a fantastic job she does bringing the route to life, using rea
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Petra’s Ghost is a clever and highly entertaining dark murder mystery thriller. The setting is the Camino de Santiago, an ancient, well-traveled 500-mile trail through northern Spain. Daniel is walking this trail, while carrying his wife's ashes. He has feelings of grief at his wife's passing and dark secrets over the cause of her death. As the story unwinds, there are many surprises and twists that make this an enjoyable read. This was an Intense, compelling, and wholly original novel that I hi ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up as a Lutheran, my religious education was very no frills. No saints. No transubstantiation. No relics. No pilgrimages to see said relics. But C.S. Cinneide’s novel Petra’s Ghost, gives me a glimpse into what motivates a person to undergo physical hardship to travel miles, to visit a holy site. This novel shows us a variety of those motivations: a grieving husband who is looking for the perfect place to put his wife’s ashes, a woman running away from her past, a Dutchman who really wants to ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Petra is Daniel's deceased wife whom he carries in his backpack hoping to spread her ashes at the end of his pilgrimage through the Camino de Santiago. Her ghost permeates this story as Daniel deals with his guilt about her passing, hoping this trip will bring him some closure and redemption.

This book is haunting, and if you are looking for a good ghost story this one is for you. Reality becomes blurred with delusions and madness and like the trail stretching before him, Daniel finds
Marcus Kennedy
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this novel. Excellent psychological suspense set on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Something for everyone here.
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
3 stars. Not a bad book by any means, but not mind-blowingly spectacular, either.

EDIT: Decided to bump the rating up to a 4.

While the beginning of the story is very strong (I'll remember the cornfield scene for a long time), and the plot is kickstarted big time towards the end, the middle felt kinda boring and bogged down by the same thing over and over: Daniel meets Ginny somewhere (usually a cathedral/ church/ chapel), they either quarrel or something creepy happens, sh
Finley Turner
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I was very lucky to receive this book as an advanced eBook copy. This book had a very good pace (hiking pun?) to it and was a great length for a thriller. It didn't feel dragged out. As a former religious studies scholar, I really enjoyed the historical, cultural, and religious aspects of the book. Despite the horrors that occurred in this book, I find myself wanting to walk the Camino because it was so beautifully described. I thought the way the author wrote about grief and guilt was very real ...more
Two things immediately attracted me to this book: 1) The setting – I have walked a part of the Camino de Santiago myself and was eager to revisit this wonderful place through a book; and 2) The part of the blurb that reads “The lines start to blur between reality and madness, between truth and the lies we tell ourselves.” I’m a bit of a sucker for books that straddle the thin line between reality and madness, and when it also involves some ghostly activity I am sold!

I’m happy to say
Heather Bennett
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Petra's Ghost is a great mystery with such descriptions that you feel as though you are part of the book. The book is well written and interesting characters.
Denise Boyd
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked on this book from the first page. The pacing of the storyline kept me wanting to read just one more chapter. We are introduced to Daniel at the beginning of the book who has decided to make the 500km journey on the Camino and release his wife's ashes. Along the way, Daniel meets Ginny who accompanies him through different portions of the hike. O'Cinneide's descriptive use of setting made me feel as though I was walking the Camino alongside Daniel. Throughout the entire story, we que ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I chose to read Petra’s Ghost based on a few things: the cover, the description, and the reviews that it had received from previous readers. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

Daniel begins his pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile trail that crosses northern Spain. He is tasked with making some major life decisions and also finding a suitable place to scatter the ashes of his deceased wife, Petra. Along the way, he meets an unbeat California girl named Ginny, who seems the pe
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so evocative and we’ll written. The author knew a lot about the Camino and the setting was laid out beautifully. It was a great read, I couldn’t wait to keep reading. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Ericka Seidemann
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Thrilling, eerie story that kept my eyes on the pages!

The premise grabbed me right away. Daniel is walking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient, well-traveled 500-mile trail through northern Spain, with his wife's ashes in his backpack. He's harboring not only grief at his wife's passing, but also guilt and remorse over the manner of her death. Along the Camino he meets Ginny, another pilgrim on the Camino with her own reasons for walking. And they're being followed by a ghost.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, fiction
3.75/5 I'll preface this by saying that I was drawn to this book because it takes place on the Camino de Santiago which I have an interest in walking someday. Psychological thrillers aren't my typical genre but it's well constructed and engaging. (Unfortunately, it diminished my desire to walk the Camino a bit.)

Daniel is a widow walking the Camino, a pilgrimage from France to Spain, carrying the ashes of his widow, Petra, and a ton of guilt. Daniel hasn't come to terms with her death
Shauna Roth
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My sister and her husband have walked the Camino. It felt like I was hearing their stories again, only this time there was a darkness on the path. Maybe that’s what the Camino is about...time to see the darkness that we put aside in our daily lives, and deal with it. This was a very readable book. I very much enjoyed it. Thank you to Netgalley for the advance ereader copy.
Simonne Lambert
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daniel is walking the Camino de Santiago with his wife’s ashes in his backpack which he plans to spread along the way. Daniel is a man tortured with grief and guilt over the death of his wife and hopes to find some sort of release during his pilgrimage. Daniel is Irish born but has lived in New Jersey for several years. His father is pressuring him to come home to run the farm which has been in the family for centuries. Another reason Daniel wants time to reflect.
I love the author’s use of the
Susan's Reviews
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Ghosts on the Camino Santiago? As I kept reading this murder-mystery-travelogue, I kept thinking: is nothing sacred? The story is well written and it has plenty of interesting characters. Unfortunately, I've spoken to too many people who have walked the Sacred Way and heard their glorious stories, and it was hard to picture a frightening ghost on the same trail they traveled. Spoiler Alert: There is a macabre twist at the end.
This book was definitely not for me, but it is will definitely be an
Colleen Maclennan
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book you figured out but had to finish. It was interesting to read about pilgrims and the Camino Santiago. Grief is all consuming and dealing with it is very unsettling. Our normal self takes us to places and conjures up people and events that play havoc with our sanity. This book is an example of that. The blame game... if only I did this or that... Dealing with loss is a hard job that effects so many people on so many different levels.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
This was a title I thought would be mildly entertaining, but turned out to be much more than that. The depictions of life on the Camino de Santiago are detailed and accurate (I haven't done the Camino, but my wife and several friends have). The suspense grows as one reads, and I found myself staying up late to finish the book, once I'd made it to the halfway point. The existential questions of this book are worth pondering, but don't get in the way of the gothic thrills. Highly recommended.
Shelley Spies
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It had been years since I picked up a novel of this genre and I had forgotten how exciting it was to be on a frightening journey full of twists and turns, psychological questions and internal dilemmas. Few things are more unnerving than wondering if your own mind is working for you or against you. Thank you C. S. O’Cinneide for taking me on this suspenseful journey with you.
Inkyou Lee
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great story and picturesque narrations made me want to walk the Camino de Santiago.
But not alone.
If you already have been there, this book will recall and refresh your memories.
Sylvia McNicoll
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Immediately I'm drawn in by the main character Daniel--his voice has a lovely Irish lilt--and his journey to recover from grief and spread his wife's ashes. His pilgrimage along the Camino becomes informed by the people he meets and their griefs. There's a bit of Stephen King horror to the ghosts he encounters that I didn't feel added to the poignancy of the story and the ultimate conclusion. Otherwise it's a wonderful story to be re-read.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
great atmospheric setting
Rosemary Sutton
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very engaging story from start to finish. The characters are very relatable, and the description of the journey makes you feel like you are travelling with them. Well done!!
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a fan of this genre but was drawn to this book because of the Camino. I was/am delighted by this author's use of language and description.

I had to stop to savour certain paragraphs because of their elegance.

One of the best books I've read this year.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
True rating - 4.5 stars
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Daniel and his wife Petra had planned to walk the a 500 mile trail in Spain, known as the Camino de Santiago, together; instead Petra is given a fatal diagnosis and Daniel decides to walk the trail himself and spread her ashes along it. Daniel learns of a woman who vanished mysteriously from the Camino de Santiago, so when he runs into Ginny, a woman walking the trail on her own, he decides to walk the trail with her.

Their pilgrimage takes a sinister turn when a horrifying figure begins followi
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C.S. O'Cinneide (oh-ki-nay-da) is a writer and a blogger on her website, She Kills Lit, where she features women writers of thriller and noir. Her debut novel, Petra’s Ghost is a dark thriller set on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, where a woman has disappeared. The book was inspired by real events that occurred when the author walked the ancient five-hundred-mile pilgrimage in 2015.
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