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3.9 out of 5 stars25
3.9 out of 5 stars
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If there's one thing that Shaun always does well its pick a role that not only fits well within the situation to which they'll find themselves but also find a way to twist the readers perspectives allowing them to see the heroism of the common man depicted in its greater glory. Here the character is a teacher who after suffering emotional and physical trauma seeks to find a new life. Having talked to his ex-wife he is persuaded to find a new position away from the place where the attack took place and manages to get a teaching placement at a private school that comes with the added bonus of a new home.

Whilst looking round the cottage he finds disturbing images of his predecessor which leads him into an investigation, during which his colleagues are all closed lipped about the events. Help comes in the form of the female member of staff with the relationship developing as events unfold. Things in the classroom aren't going as well, as he finds that there is a small click amongst his pupils that know more about him than he's revealed which leads to paranoia that escalates after his love interest ends up missing.

The book itself is unfortunately tedious with very little happening as if the author had a good idea for a novella that had to be stretched to accommodate a novel brief. Add to the mix Shaun's almost superstitious usage of certain words within the text and it does leave you wondering if he's had his day. However, what really got to me was that after so many carefully created plots that he turns out a novel that felt too much a cross of the "Wicker Man" and "Class of 1984" which sadly had none of the originality of either. For me Shaun really has lost it and I only hope that at some point he'll take a long hard look at what he's been releasing and asks the fans what they want rather than relying on his name to sell an inferior product.
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on 5 April 2012
I've been a Shaun Hutson fan for a very long time and must have read the great majority of his books. They have invariably been a great read and have always left me looking forward to the next one.
But not this time.
We have the multiplicity of plot lines, all moving forward to join up in the customary explosive finish. But they moved forward so slowly as to be pretty tedious at times.
Also, for some reason Shaun includes several very explicit sexual scenes which really are gratuitous and not required in such detail. Does the author really believe that his army of loyal readers buy his books for gratuitous sex?
Whilst this is an OK read, I did find myself rushing pages towards the end..I was really quite glad when I finally completed it.
This is not vintage Shaun Hutson by any means and if you're planning to buy it as your first taste of this author, you probably wouldn't choose to buy any more.
But you're an avid Red, Shaun, as I am, so you're excused this, for you, slightly lacklustre story! I'll still be ready for the next book. In the meantime, lets all hope that Kenny has the good sense to ditch Carroll, Henderson, Downing and Adam at the end of the season.
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on 24 February 2012
I used to love earlier Shaun Hutson books but sadly found this one to be pretty dull with very few shocks. I thought i would never say this but unless he goes back to his winning formulas' of yesteryear then this is the last time I will buy a Hutson book.

Please go back to in your face horror or fast paced action with rock hard main characters, not a wishy washy teacher with about as much get up and go as a wet fart.
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on 3 June 2011
After been badly beaten by a gang of youths, schoolteacher, Peter Mason decides to accept an offer to teach in a posh, private school in a small town in Buckinghamshire. However, there are strange things happening in the town, and Mason discovers that his predecessor in the school has left without a trace.

This story is quite a good read, although it is a bit on the short side. There is quite a bit of suspense, but only a few really creepy moments. I felt the ending was a bit rushed too. Overall, though not too bad.
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on 5 March 2010
I own almost all of Shaun Hutson's books and I have to say this is one of his weeker efforts. For me this is not a patch on his books featuring Sean Doyle; Renegades, White Ghost and to a lesser extent Hybrid (I would love to see Doyle's return. I put this book in the quality of Heathen which again I found dissapointing. Hutson is at his best when he's mixing gritty urban thriller writing with the horror story. This book was too tame for my liking. Sorry Shaun!
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on 6 May 2012
Quite the page-turner, as fans of Hutson have come to expect. Everything's present and accounted for: the short chapters, the cliffhanger endings, plenty of dialogue, lots of twists and turns and just enough character definition to keep you invested in the story.

This one's an old-school Satanic Panic novel. Think Wickerman meets Kill List and you're on the right road.

I really enjoyed it.
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on 2 July 2014
Good. 5 star- ish but I'll give it 4.5. Couldn't wait to get back into it. Fast paced, colourful, Hutson classic material. Not as mind-blowingly good as his original Shadows, Erebus, Deathday and Breeding Ground (my all time Hutson favs) but up there, certainly a notch above some of his other later stuff. V good and satisfying read.
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on 11 March 2011
this is typical Shaun Hutson after reading the first couple of chapters you have to fight to put the book down.
If you like Hutson you will like this book, If you have never read Hutson and love horror, where better to start.
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on 14 June 2010
Apart from his really early stuff, I can't see any horror fan being disappointed in a Sean Hutson book. I loved this one, read it cover to cover the day it was delivered. Seller packaged it well and it arrived in good time.
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on 14 June 2012
I have read Shaun Hutson books for many years now. I can honestly say that this one did not let me down. Very difficult to put this book down, so much so I finished it in 2 days.... Superb
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