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Absence, The Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloody Books (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905636466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905636464
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A friend recommended Bill Hussey's first book - `Through a Glass, Darkly' - to me when it came out last year. I picked it up from my local bookshop and finished it in one sitting. I remember thinking how writing such a good first novel must be a mixed blessing - how on earth do you follow it up? Well, I needn't have feared - with this new book Hussey has developed as a writer and produced another thrilling and gut-wrenching reading experience. This is an original horror story told with real depth and with beautiful, atmospheric prose.

Joe Nightingale is a young boy crippled by the guilt surrounding his mother's death. His brother Bobby has been psychologically scarred by the suicide of his best friend. Their father Richard has his own dark thoughts to contend with. Into this world of fear and remorse comes news that the Nightingales have inherited a house from a distant relative. The family spend the summer in their new home and hope in that the isolated property will allow them a measure of peace. Instead they find an ancient horror waiting in the shadows...

The family-at-war scenario may seem familiar but in `The Absence' is it taken to horrific new levels. The emotional conflict between these characters slams out of the page and hits the reader square between the eyes. The other aspect to the book I found impressive was the atmosphere of the Fens - as with his first book, Hussey has a unique ability to transport the reader to the scene of the action. This world of damp marshes and stagnant waterways is brought eerily to life - you can almost feel the sweating Fen mist on your face!

Then we come to the horrors! I read this on a warm spring afternoon, the sun blazing, but I couldn't help shivering.
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By book fan VINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved "Through a Glass Darkly", the debut novel by Bill Hussey, but his second is even better. This horror novel is about the Nightingale family, two sons, Joe and Bobby and their father Richard, who are all suffering in their own ways after the tragic death of Janet, the boys mother and Richards wife. Janet was killed after the car being driven by her eldest son Joe, veered off the road has he tried to avoid a fallen tree blocking his way. Joe is suffering terrible guilt and blames himself for the death of his mother. Seven months after the crash, the Nightingales learn that they have come to inherit a property from a distant relative, reclusive Muriel Sutton. This property known as Daecher's Mill is in the lonely Lincolnshire Fens and it has a dark, disturbing history, which we gradually get to know as the tale progresses and events soon take on a terrifying turn. This novel is a suberb well crafted tale that reaches out and draws the reader in, Bill Hussey writes with an assured touch that is enchanting and gradually builds up into a haunting, menace filled tale of terror. Bill Hussey is a name to watch in my opinion and I would recommend him to anyone who loves well written horror. Shiveringly good entertainment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An effective horror novel with some genuine creepy moments and an excellent atmosphere. Bill Hussey has really captured the location around the Fens and it adds nicely to the overall book.

The only downside for me was the end of the novel, but this is often the issue with horror novels, it just felt a bit functional. There is some run of the mill ghost story mechanics at work in the book but enough genuine, creepy and shocking moments to make it stand out from the crowd.

Ordered Bill Hussey's first book and I am looking forward to reading, he is certainly a great find and could be a big writer in the future. Highly recommended if this is your type of novel and I hope he has a third novel on the way soon.
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Format: Paperback
Once again plumbing the depths of folklore, Bill Hussey crafts another winner with "The Absence". As with "Through A Glass Darkly," Hussey's prose is lyrical and flowing, but "The Absence" moves at a quicker pace than its predecessor. It's story doesn't lose any strength, however, and in many ways is more poignant: it's hard to pin down the ultimate villain. That's not to say there's no resolution, but rather to highlight one of its key themes: there's darkness in everyone, and though we fight it as best we can, often it consumes us in the end.

Seven months ago, the Nightingale family suffered the worst tragedy a family can endure: the loss of a beloved parent, Janet Nightingale - mother and wife. Worse yet, it happened in a car accident in which the eldest son Joe was driving. Joe believes he's responsible for his mother's death, but he carries his burden silently, alone.

Richard Nightingale grieves for the loss of his wife, but really - he lost Janet long ago. An alcoholic carrying on a four year affair, Richard lost Janet to something he cannot define or understand, and worst of all, he can never tell Joe or his youngest son Bobby. To them, he's an uncaring, alcoholic father who's been cheating on their mother. Bobby struggles with strange desires he can't accept, and like his brother and father, they limp along on their separate, solitary paths.

They're disconnected, dysfunctional, and falling away from each other: the perfect targets for evil. There's a secret buried in Janet's past, and it comes for them when they're willed a mill house and summer home from an unknown, distant relative. For Richard, it's a last chance to try and save his family.
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