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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep the cabinet closed!
I've been a huge fan of the author's work ever since reading The Ballet of the Bones and through all of his other books that I've read since, so I anticipated his latest release with a lot of anticipation. So much so that when it was released it jumped straight in at the top of my TBR list! I'm happy to say that the book was worth the wait and I wasn't dissapointed...
Published 16 months ago by M. Brookes

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moments of eeriness and the opening chapter is the best.
One of those quirky little stories it's hard not to like but needs some work to really get it out there. At 204 pages it's too long. There's too much padding but; the heart of the story holds a half decent mystery I enjoyed unravelling.

This is the story of a small American town and it's famous (infamous!) family of undertakers. Times have moved on since the...
Published 13 months ago by JK


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep the cabinet closed!, 1 Mar. 2014
By 
M. Brookes - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
I've been a huge fan of the author's work ever since reading The Ballet of the Bones and through all of his other books that I've read since, so I anticipated his latest release with a lot of anticipation. So much so that when it was released it jumped straight in at the top of my TBR list! I'm happy to say that the book was worth the wait and I wasn't dissapointed.

To date the authors horror stories have been set in the Victorian era and all the natural oddities that comes with the time, this book diverges slightly from that trend and is mostly set in modern times, although there are some flashes back to Victorian London.

The story concerns the Moreton brothers, the latest in a line of family undertakers that have buried the local dead in their small town for many decades. Times have become hard and the business is failing and out of the blue a strange fellow offers to buy the business. This Jacobs is a very strange character indeed and Bobby Moreton discovers there are secrets to the family business in the form of a mysterious cabinet.

The set up works very well, but what really stood out for me was the Jacobs character, he is a fine evil villian. Through most of the book the horror comes from various strange occurences that build an atmosphere of menace, by the climax though this has become full on in a fnal dreadful scene.

As I've said I enhoyed reading this a lot, it's not perfect though and there were a few minor issues, the first was that there could have been more, especially from the Victorian scenes, I really wanted to know more about what happened, although in fairness it's easy to fill in the blanks from the events told in the modern period. Following on from this I thought that the ending could have been filled out more.

They are minor complaints though and this is a fantastic read and like his other books I recommend this to any fans of the horror genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric page-turner!, 14 May 2014
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Lesley (County Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and found it to be a page-turner. I liked the characters very much and so I needed to know what was going to happen to them. I particularly liked Tom and Bobby, who run the undertaker's business, and the dialogue between them is enjoyable and believable (they sound just like my sons!). Jacobs, the villain ...booo... hisss ... was well-written too and I got a clear picture of him in my head, the slimy so-and-so.

I liked how the author created the Victorian atmosphere in the 19th Century parts of the story and then quite easily switched to an authentic modern voice in the present day parts. He also writes the macabre excellently, so vivid that I felt I was an onlooker during the final scene. There was just enough technical detail, too, of the undertaker's tools and duties to satisfy curious readers like myself.

My only criticisms are that, after all Bobby had gone through, I would have liked to have seen some hint of him tackling his alcohol problem instead of heading off to the off-licence. I liked his character and was disappointed to think that he would continue along this route to self-destruction. There were also a few typos near the end of the story that could have been fixed by more careful editing, but these didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story.

I like this author and I will be reading more of his books, and I hope he continues to write many more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a period and style that he handles with a fine balance of atmosphere and fear, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
I have previously read a number of David Haynes' interconnected Victorian Gothic horror short stories, a period and style that he handles with a fine balance of atmosphere and fear. The Undertaker's Cabinet, a full length novel draws in part on this era again, but is largely set in modern times, perhaps a little less successfully. I found it quite difficult to place Littleoak; it read like small town America but the characters seemed British. Or it may just because I was constantly being put in mind of the magnificent TV series Six Feet Under?

The novel takes plenty of time to develop thoughtful characters, a complex plot and some real atmosphere and I particularly loved the black cat in the funeral parlour scenes which were a subtle mix of gruesomeness and black comedy. However the final chapters are played out at a frenetic pace and for me, the quality of the story telling did dip here, becoming a little confused and suspending my belief just too far.

Overall a good read which disturbed my sleep just enough to confirm the effectiveness of the writing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and disturbing - in a good way!, 23 Feb. 2014
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Ignite (East Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
The intriguing locked cabinet of the title stands in the basement of Moreton and Sons, Undertakers. The business is failing and Bobby Moreton is on the verge of selling. He changes his mind when a new and decidedly creepy undertaker comes to the town and makes to grab all the business. The story occasionally flashes back to the 1850s where we discover the origins of the Moreton family business and the obsession which led to the creation of the Undertaker’s Cabinet.

The author has built a solid reputation for writing Victorian melodrama in the horror vein and although much of this book is set in the present day it reaches back into Victorian times. It brings forward the original Jerome Moreton’s quest and is creepy and disturbing – but in a good way! Fans of David Haynes’ work are not going to be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moments of eeriness and the opening chapter is the best., 7 Jun. 2014
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JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
One of those quirky little stories it's hard not to like but needs some work to really get it out there. At 204 pages it's too long. There's too much padding but; the heart of the story holds a half decent mystery I enjoyed unravelling.

This is the story of a small American town and it's famous (infamous!) family of undertakers. Times have moved on since the days of family greatness and time hasn't been kind to the two brothers currently running the business. They're strapped for cash and running out of ideas until; they discover the real value of 'The Undertaker's Cabinet'. From this point the mystery builds and this particular cabinet holds more secrets than just the paraphernalia of funeral rites.

As a fan of contemporary horror I didn't find anything remotely scary about this story but it has moments of eeriness and the opening chapter is particularly good when it comes to scene setting.

I can't give the story more than a moderate OK. I'm leaving 3 stars and not 2 stars purely because the idea behind the story is good and there are a few moments when events become surreal enough they appealed to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 13 May 2014
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Just the title of this book appealed to me, and it didn't disappoint. I won't give away the details but if you like something which is a bit macabre with humour and a bit outrageous at the end and a good pace throughout, this is the book to read. I will defiantly be reading more David Haynes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror story, 9 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
Two brothers Funeral Directors are experiencing financial difficulties. I found it slow to start but it increases in tempo and soon you realise you are reading a true horror story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A prequel please., 19 July 2014
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Hmmmm.... It started well, lost it a bit in the middle and an ok ending. I wish the author had put in more descriptions from the past to give the reader a better history of the cabinet...... a prequel perhaps? I've given 4 stars as it wasn't a poor read at all, I did enjoy it and I persevered through some at times monotonous parts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saying that I thouroughly enjoyed the book, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Cabinet (Kindle Edition)
But. Is a strange tale, and what a vivid imaginatiion the writer has. Saying that I thouroughly enjoyed the book. I would reccommend it if only to hear your opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the start, 8 May 2014
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The first 80% of this book was absolutely fantastic. Well written and described, I fell in love with the characters and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

The last 20% (particularly the very last few pages) were a disappointment in comparison. The way it unfolded wasn't as 'believable' as the earlier part of the book and I kept asking myself questions like "How come no one else in the village has noticed this, considering how he could hardly blow his nose a few pages back without drawing a crowd?"

Some parts of it were amazing - the cat in the undertakers was inspired and this is why I've given it a 3. If it had ended the way it started it would have been a five star read.

Worth a read though, if only for the banter between the brothers.
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The Undertaker's Cabinet by David Haynes
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