I've had this on my shelf for nearly a year and decided that it's probably time that I read it. It took zero time, actually -- I didn't even have to stay up late to finish it. I will tell you that of the three books in this series, it's the weakest, in terms of plot and in terms of characterization. I must admit to being a bit disappointed because the first two books were pretty decent and kept my attention for a while, but this one just wasn't developed enough to satisfy my monkey for a good mystery. I'm always looking for something different; this wasn't quite it.
Coming in at about 187 pages, Unquiet Spirit is a very quick read. It is a mystery, and its main character is that of Dr. Nathaniel Gye, Paranormal Investigator. Gye is a lecturer in parapsychology, and hosts a unique television show as well. The story opens with a paranormal investigation unit in Cambridge doing their thing on a staircase in St. Thomas College, reputed to be haunted enough to scare away several students who lived in a particular room over the years. The team is visited by its main opponent, a Professor Hockridge, who demands that he be there while the investigation is being made. Hockridge thinks the paranormal is hooey - and is there to watch the team carefully. However, as the investigation proceeds, Hockridge suddenly falls & dies. The death is labeled as natural (a heart attack), however, there are some who do not believe it. Simultaneously, the college is on the brink of receiving some major funding, and the Master is worried that scandal based on some sordid business of 10 years earlier might seep through and make its way out into the open, possibly permitting the college's benefactor from making his donation due to the notoriety of the case, which seems on the brink of being blown wide open with Hockridge's death. He begs Nathaniel to look into events both ten years earlier and currently. There is very little in the range of the paranormal here if that's what you're looking for. At the very heart of this book is a decent mystery, and the parts of the book that focus on the mystery are very well done. I will be really frank here and say that I figured out half of it way early in the book (a who and a how) -- thankfully there was a dual mystery so I kept reading. What prevents the entire book from being much better (imho) is the interaction between Nathaniel and his wife Kathryn. I realize that authors have to make their characters seem more human, and I can appreciate that Wilson probably felt the need to do so, but the scenes between husband and wife are just flat and it was all I could do not to skim these parts. I think the mystery aspects might have been a bit more fully developed had he not felt compelled to throw in some tension between Nat and Kathryn. Other than this minor complaint, it was a decent book, the last one in the series as of right now. If he writes another, I'll probably buy it. Who would like this book? Readers who like mysteries set in the world of academia, or in England, or those who want a quick whodunit read.