A well written classy period novel – as someone who wouldn't normally chose a period book I was pleasantly surprised with this ghostly tale. I cant say I was at any time actually scared, but the characters are well written, with flesh on their bones and enough suspense builds up through the story to keep you coming back for more!
I couldn't help but feel our main protagonist a young woman called Claire was more forthright and outspoken than a woman in her position as a governess in a large house could have ever been. But that it was needed for the ebb and flow of the story to be continued.
The book is based in Dartmoor, and having holidayed in that area when I was younger, I can certainly see why the moors could and probably do evoke such tales and a sense of loneliness and fear.
When Claire's parents both die, the young woman, a highly talented musician in her own right is left slightly stranded, her father's death leaving debts which require the sale of the family home. So she does what many young well brought up women in her position did, she becomes a governess, but not to any ordinary family does she go; her charge is a young nine year old girl called Alice who has many special abilities but with them many special problems! Add to this the fact that Blackwood Hall has its secrets and the family living there being about as unhappy and dysfunctional as they come. But its when the strange and ghostly happenings start that the story really comes alive, and the addition of a man, whose strange behaviour and alcohol fuelled antics causes even more angst and fear in the already scared house.
I enjoyed The Haunting of Blackwood Hall, the author has had the book very well edited and the flourishes and extra illustrative touches in the e-book make it a nice read. If I had one criticism, it would be that the it felt perhaps just a little formulaic, I could see most of what was going to happen coming, but it is eminently readable, with a delightful twist! If you are fed up of vampires and zombies The Haunting at Blackwood Hall reignites an old tradition of gothic horror full of ghostly suspense!
About the Author……in his own words
"I am a writer of Gothic fiction, combining elements of horror, romance, and the psychological thriller.
My style draws as much from the films of Hammer Studios, Roger Corman's Poe Cycle, and the classic Universal Monster movies, as it does from modern Gothic writers from Shirley Jackson to the late, great Michael McDowell.
I am also a photographer and PhotoShop artist – I make my own book covers.
If you like stories set in old dark houses, with plenty of inclement weather and peopled with characters with deeply fractured psyches, you might enjoy one of my Gothic thrillers!"
Find out more about Barrymore and his other books: http://barrymoretebbs.blogspot.co.uk/