Monday, October 22

James Herbert: The Secret of Crickley Hall

A grieving family seeking solace takes up residence in an aged manor house in picturesque county side. Almost immediately they are subjected to a series of unexplained noises and temperature variations, doors won’t stay locked, the family pet runs away, and the mother and one of the daughters start to see things that can not possibly be there. They soon discover that the house was the scene of a tragedy involving the drowning of eleven evacuated orphans and their guardian during the Second World War. But the flood was not responsible for these deaths and as the true story unfolds the family must play their part in setting the record straight and putting the ghosts to rest.
I’ve always enjoyed Herbert’s writing and this story delivers the creepy read with an interesting twist that I’ve come to expect from him. But somehow it didn’t give me the same chill I’ve got from previous works. The family was a little obtuse when it came to recognising the haunting and maybe that detracted from the scare factor. I really can’t pin point why the story atmosphere lacked but good as it was it didn’t leave me sleeping with the lights on.
If you like a good ghost story read James Herbert but if you’re new to his work don’t start with this one, it’s strictly for the fans.-Lynn

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