The Resurrectionists by Kim Wilkins

In three words:

Spooky, gothic, graveyard

 

What I thought:

I first heard about this book last year when I was doing my Dare You Read It? series over the Halloween period. It was recommended by Helen at She Reads Novels as a spooky / scary book and as I tend to enjoy the a lot of the same books as Helen I decided to hunt down a copy. I managed to find a second hand copy as the book had actually gone out of print, but it is now available on Kindle via Amazon for anyone who wants to give this a read.

This gothic horror starts with Maisie, an Australian musician with a successful career and loving boyfriend, who is disillusioned with life and decides to go to England to see her maternal Grandmother, Sybil, whom she has never met, who lives in a remote cottage in Yorkshire by the coast. Maisie’s mother is dead set against her going and then confesses that her Grandmother actually died 3 months ago which makes Maisie even more determined to go, to find out about where Sybil lived and what she was like.

When she arrives in Solgreve, Yorkshire in the winter, Maisie soon discovers that not only was her Grandmother not at all liked but that, apparently, neither is she. A wall of silence and unfriendlyness greets Maisie in the little village (including a very cold introduction from the village Vicar) so Maisie sets about trying to clear Sybils cottage and discover what she can about her past. The only person that is remotely nice to her is a young man called Sasha (who is part gypsy and used to help Sybil in her garden) whom she meets when he brings Sybils old cat back round.

It’s not long before things begin to go bump in the night in this remote little cottage. Maisie is unnerved by the cat who takes up the same post on top of the washing machine every night to stare out, unblinking into the night, but not so much as when she sees a shadowy figure by the trees at the back of the cottage that is staring straight back at her.

Maisie soon discovers a diary dating back to 1793 that, upon reading it, starts to give her clues to what is going on and what makes the inhabitants of the village of Solgreve behave the way they do.

This book is choc full of chills, thrills and surprises. There was one particular point when Maisie and a friend are alone in the cottage one night when things take a horrifying turn, that literally had me on the edge of my seat. Yes, there were parts of the book where I really had to suspend my disbelief (but then this is horror fiction) but overall it was a great October read and perfect for the RIP challenge.

Verdict: Fans of gothic, horror and suspense are sure to like this book. Don’t expect a literary masterpiece but if it’s thrills and chills you’re after then look no further.

 

I read this book as part of the RIP Challenge

Advertisements

Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark

In three words:

Spooky, suspenseful, thrilling

 

What I thought:

I love Mary Higgins Clark books – they are my suspenseful comfort-reads and I always look forward to them (and haven’t been let down yet). Remember Me is slightly different in that there is a spooky element to it; a suggestion here and there of paranormal goings on, ghosts with messages or seeking a pardon. Then again, it could just be that the protagonist is going a little insane and imagining it all…

Manley Nichols and her husband Adam move to a rambling coastal house on the sea in search of a fresh start with their baby Hannah. Two year previously her their little boy, Bobby, had been killed when the car he and Manely were in was hit by a train. Manley, still on medication, and trying to come to terms with their loss starts to hear and see strange things in their new house which she can’t explain: the sound of a train roaring through the house, baby Hannah not being in the crib she left her in (replaced instead with a china doll) but despite being terrified, part of her is more afraid that it is her who is losing her mind.

Verdict: This book is still written in the same accessible way that all MHC’s other books are and there are still “baddies” to suss out and clues to follow but this was a great one to read on a dark night…

I read this book for the RIP Challenge.

(Source: this is my own copy of the book)

 

 

I’m on Facebook!

Earlier this year, I finally dragged myself into the 21st century (after much nagging from family and friends about my absense) and joined Facebook.

Now I’ve gone one step further and have set up a page for The Book Whisperer (I know – get me!)

So, please stop by and “like” my page and chat etc – would love to see you all there 🙂

 

Link to my page

 

RIP VI is here!

Autumn must be here…

OK, to be fair, we haven’t really even had a summer in the UK but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Autumn is my favourite season and alsways has been. I used to love going back to school after the long holidays (yep, must be a geek!) and it was my birthday, halloween and bonfire night. I love the crisp days and darker evenings when you have to put the fire on a curl up (with a book, naturally) and cup of hot chocolate or glass of red wine. Autumn is a time for classics, gothic reads and spooky tales hence my excitement for this challenge again.

I have successfully managed to avoid all challenges this year so far but this is one that I cannot igone! The Peril Challenge is right up my street and I loved taking part last year t00.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural.

As you know, I am likely to change my mind on a whim (I’m incredibly fickle when it comes to shiny new books attracting my attention) and side-tracking me from the best laid plans. However, here are some of the books that are on my list (for the moment):

Pet Sematary by Stephen King (currently reading)

The Retribution by Val McDermid (currently reading)

Suffer the Children by John Saul (read this as a teenager and want to read it again as I remember nothing about it except it spooked me)

Florence and Giles by John Harding (I hadn’t heard of this until Helen of She Reads Novels added it to her list and I looked it up – only 99p on my Kindle too…bargain!)

Cuckoo by Julia Couch (sent to me for review and looks like a great pyschological thriller)

Needful Things by Stephen King (after reading Carrie recently and now on to Pet Sematary I am on a bit of a SK kick)

The Remains by Vincent Zandri (recommended by a fellow blogger taking part in Thrill Week and again only 86p on my Kindle!)

Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheriden le Fanu (has been on my shelf for a few years and is supposed to be Victorian gothic at its creepiest – delicious!!!)

Blood Harvest by S J Bolton (the only one of her 4 books I haven’t read yet and it’s a sort of crime ghost story so should be perfect!)

The Resurrectionists by Julia Wilkins (another one recommended as really creepy by Helen at She Reads Novels last year during my Dare You Read It? series in October and I have since  found a second hand copy)

 

I think that little lot should keep me going for a while, but like I say, by the time I have finished the challenge it is probably unlikely to resemble the above list at all (oh the perils of shiny, new things……)

 

I will be doing the Peril the First challenge which is to read at least 4 books from the above categories (shouldn’t be too hard as they are my favourite genre at the moment).

 

Have you got any plans to join in? If so, what will you be reading?

 

Dare you read it?: Naomi’s Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

The Blurb:

“Not long after his daughter Naomi is abducted and then found murdered in a field, Charles Hillenbrand begins hearing sinister whispers in the night, and he soon tries to uncover the truth behind his daughter’s demise.”

(source: Goodreads.com)

What I thought:

The really weird thing about this book is that I picked it up for a few pence in a second hand bookshop about 18 months ago; I had no desire to read any horror books at the time and when I got home I remember wondering what had possessed me to get it as I thought I might find it too scary to read. When I started on my Dare You Read This? challenge I took it off my shelf and dusted it down – and I swear I kept getting déjà vu while I read it (just little snippets that would make me shiver and convinced I’d read  it before but I really don’t think I have). Spooooooky!

The book is a ghost story that starts off with the abduction of a four year old girl, Naomi, from a busy toy shop in London on Christmas Eve in 1970. Her father, Charles Hillenbrand gets separated from her in the shop and she is never seen again. By the afternoon of Christmas Day Naomi’s body has been found – she has been murdered.

While trying to cope with their grief and come to terms without their little girl, back in Cambridge, Charles and Laura find themselves on the receiving end of some very strange events. They are woken one night by a piercing scream coming from Naomi’s room, and they hear footsteps in the attic above their bedroom. The mystery and nightmare only deepens when a photographer who has been camped outside their house waiting for glimpses of the grieving parents has his role of film developed and finds strange faces that appear at the attic window and two little girls dressed in Victorian clothing in the garden where he was sure there was nobody there. Together, Charles and the journalist, David Lewis, try to work out what’s going on……but nobody could predict what more was to come!

This is a really spooky tale of things that go bump in the night, ghosts who have had a particularly gruemsome end to their earthly lives and are trying to communicate, and the ending is pretty shocking – and totally unexpected!

This book is now out of print, unfortunatley, but there are still copies around on the web (to buy or swap). I have just ordered myself a couple of his other books for some more ghostly goings on. I really enjoyed this book.

  Read it if you dare!

 

 

Spooky rating:

 A good spooky yarn – scary and shocking

In the middle of reading this book I was taking a shower (not with the actual book, obviously!) and I swear I saw something brown flash across my mirror just outside the shower door on the bathroom wall – it was only there for a fleeting second – but then I realised it was probably just my arm or something so I started waving my arms around to prove my own point. I couldn’t see them in the mirror – the angle was wrong!……

Recommended for sitting in a dark room with just your reading lamp on and a cup of hot chocolate.

 

Mwahahahahahaha!

 

Book Review: Daddy’s Little Girls by Mary Higgins Clark

The Blurb

“At just seven years old, Ellie Cavanaugh lost her sister Andrea to a brutal murderer. It was her testimony that put Robson Westerfield away, but now, twenty-two years on, he is about to be released. Ellie, now a writer and investigative reporter, senses trouble and travels to her hometown just as Westerfield arrives and begins a campaign to prove his innocence. Ellie still suspects him, as does her estranged father, and both are determined to thwart his attempts. But someone has other ideas…Someone who is picking up where Westerfield left off, commiting other dangerous acts that send Ellie spiralling into a whirlwind of secrets, lies and deceit. Can she uncover the truth before a desperate killer sets his sights on her? As events reach a head, Ellie realises she might be the only person who can seek vengenance for the past…”

(source: Amazon.com)

What I thought

I love Mary Higgins Clark! You know that – I rave about her every chance I get 🙂

In Daddy’s Little Girl, the book is narrated by Ellie Kavanagh who, as a 7 year old, found her sister Andrea’s murdered body in a hide-out in a neighbouring property. Twenty-two years later, Andrea’s convicted killer (her boyfriend Rob Westerfield) is about to be let out of prison based on some fresh evidence that casts doubt on his guilt and Ellie is determined that he should be put back behind bars. As Ellie hunts for clues and new witnesses that will prove what she always believed – that Rob did kill Andrea – she finds her own life in danger the deeper she delves.

I have to admit, that despite still loving this book (I love all her books) this is probably my least favourite out of all the ones I have read – about 13 or 14, I believe. I can’t really put my finger on why although if I was to take a guess it would be that it was pretty obvious who the murderer was right from the start, despite several attempted red herrings. There wasn’t much guess work or suspense involved. Having said that, as Ellie uncovers more and more evidence the plot picks up real pace and there are the usual cliffhangers and race-against-time’s that are the blueprint to MHC’s novels.

In summary, I really enjoyed this – as I do all her books – but it just wasn’t one of my favourites.

 

I read this book as part of the Queen of Suspence hosted at Tea Time with Marce (2/6)

and also as part of the R.I.P. V challenge (2/4)

 

 

Book Review: The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

The Blurb

“God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe… 

Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves.

This is the world she was born into. Temple has known nothing else. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization – and to those who have created a new world order for themselves.

When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right, if she can just get him back to his family in Texas then maybe it will bring redemption for some of the terrible things she’s done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, has done things that she’s not proud of and, along the road, she’s made enemies.

Now one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the one thing that makes sense…”

(source: Amazon.com)

 

  What I thought

This isn’t normally the sort of book that I would pick up. Although, in recent years, I have read and really enjoyed a number of post-apocolyptic novels, I was initially somewhat put off this book by the promise of zombies. Then I read that I it had elements of McCarthys The Road (which I LOVED!) and Matheson’s I am Legend (which I expected to hate when given it to read for a bookclub, but actually really enjoyed).

The book started really well. Temple is 16, alone and kick-ass. She has spent the last few weeks on an island off the Florida coast catching and eating fish and spending her days looking out over the water to make sure she remains alone. Life as we know it is hinted at with details like Temple finding a stash of magazines (from before) which have glossy pictures of a life she has never known. The only thing that upsets Temple’s solitary existance is coming across a body on the beach. The body, as she suspected, is one of the undead (or Slugs as she calls them): it looks like the Slug has got wind of her on the island and tried to swim over but been dashed on the rocks and left for dead. Temple knows that it’s only a matter of time before more follow and she picks up her handful of belongings and makes her way back to the mainland to set off north and on to the next place.

The world that Temple inhabits is a mixture of humans (some nomads and some who have set up communities in the wake of whatever happened) and zombies who roam the the land looking for flesh to feed on. Temple encounters several people along the way: some who help her and some who are after her. Temple does whatever she has to to survive, and boy does she. She has never known a different world and it is clear early on that her parents weren’t around for very long so she has had to cope for herself all her life. There are scenes of violence as Temple is ruthless in her desire to stay alive, but this isn’t just a book about destruction and desolation; it’s also about human emotion. Temple picks up a mute man along the way (whom she calls “Dummy”) and despite her thinking that she can cast him off onto someone else, she becomes strangely attached and realises that she does have it in her to help and be kind (which is something unfamiliar to her).

The narrative in this book is clean and uncluttered and exactly what I loved about The Road. I think it will and can be enjoyed by those who love fantasy type fiction, but also those (like me) for whom this isn’t their normal genre. There was only one part that bothered me, and that was in the middle when Temple meets a group of people called “The Inheritors of the Earth”: I just didn’t get wht they were in it; it seemed unecessary to me and made what seemed a plausible storyline (even with the zombies which I could accept) into something that instantly made me snap back to reality and disbelieve again.

In summary, I enjoyed this book and would  recommend to anyone who likes post-apocolyptic novels and fantasy.

 (I reveived my copy of this book from Amazon Vine)

Have you read any post-apocolyptic books? What do you think of them?

  This book is 1/4 in the RIP V Challenge