Unhallowed Ground Paperback – 15 Dec 2000
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A single woman living alone in the middle of nowhere, amid a handful of peculiar neighbours and with a past that continues to haunt her--what more is needed as the basis for a thriller? Only things that go bump in the night and a mysterious figure that appears in the fields. White delivers all this and more to produce a classic that tingles the spine, just as it promises.
When a child under her jurisdiction is murdered at the hands of an abusive family, social worker Georgina Jefferson suffers an inevitable, and unbearable backlash. Desperate to escape the adverse media attention, she moves to the cottage of her recently deceased brother. Not only does she believe this to be a good way to discover more about a brother she never knew, she also feels a winter spent on her own in the country will help her get her life back on track. Foolish sentiments indeed, as it transpires, especially when a burnt doll is discovered in the woodshed....
White controls the pace of this well-written novel with supreme skill, building up a tangible atmosphere of fear which threatens to unhinge Georgina completely. Delicious stuff. --Claire Allfree --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Western Morning News"
As chilling as the blizzard winds which howl around its location, "Unhallowed Ground" is a complex thriller which will fire your imagination and fuel your fears. This is not a novel to read on your own or in an isolated spot. A master of the storyteller's art, Gillian White slowly and subtly builds up the suspense until it reaches a truly terrifying and totally unexpected denouement. A well-crafted and unnerving work.
"Western Morning News" As chilling as the blizzard winds which howl around its location, "Unhallowed Ground" is a complex thriller which will fire your imagination and fuel your fears. This is not a novel to read on your own or in an isolated spot. A master of the storyteller's art, Gillian White slowly and subtly builds up the suspense until it reaches a truly terrifying and totally unexpected denouement. A well-crafted and unnerving work. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I actually enjoyed reading this more than some of her detective stories, because it gives you an interesting insight in to the way that the woman’s mind worked. If anything, the similarities between Christie and that other great crime writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are more obvious here than anywhere else – Doyle was well-known for his spiritualism and superstition at the end of his life, and he would have loved to have read this work if he’d lived for long enough.
As it is, we’re the lucky readers who get a chance to read Christie’s spine-tingling work, and I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of The Hound of Death if you can get your hands on it, particularly if you can get one of the gorgeous facsimile editions which I was lucky enough to find. You’re in for some of the finest short fiction available by any writer in any language.
Who on earth proof read the book too - prolific use of 'slither' instead of 'sliver' and several other misspelt words. Annoyingly distracting.
Another fantastic read from Gillian White. Her ability to bring characters alive is amazing, they seem to stay with you long after the book is put aside and become a part of your everyday thoughts during and after the read.
I am usually a slow reader but I took this book everywhere with me, even in the bath, and completed it within 2 days....I just couldn't put it down!
I considered many different theories as I read, changing my mind more than once as to what the final plot may be - Only to finally find that none of my theories met with the clever finality Gillian White had created - I remember mumbling "oh my God" out loud as I read through the final chapters.
Such detail combined with so much mystery is surely a skill? These skills mixed with an intelligent yet easily dissolved language can only come to produce a winning thriller.
This was my second read, "Refuge" being my first and I now have 2 more on order......Gillian White creates a thirst within you that only more of her work can quench!
Georgie needs to get away from London to escape the publicity around the killing of a child while she was the social worker responsible for little Angie's case. So when she unexpectedly inherits a cottage in a tiny hamlet on Dartmoor it seems an ideal place to escape to for a few months - until she meets the strange and mostly unfriendly neighbours, that is.
White handles prose with originality and control, and in Georgie she creates a completely believable character, flawed, yes, but with an underlying strength of character that is crumbling under the guilt of the child's death. For the first half of the book, White cuts between the present and the past, letting us see the events that have brought Georgie to this place and this state of mind. Once Georgie gets to Dartmoor, the tension starts to ratchet up, while the reader is left to wonder whether the scary events are really happening or are all part of Georgie's guilt-ridden mind. As winter comes and the snow starts to fall, Georgie is trapped in the cottage and alone...
For the most part, I thought this was a first-rate slow-burn psychological thriller that kept me hooked and on edge. Unfortunately I thought the ending let the book down - without any spoilers, I felt the climax didn't quite live up to the sense of anticipation and tension that the author had so carefully built throughout. However, on the basis of this book, I am certainly looking forward to reading more of White's work. Recommended.
NB This review is of a proof copy provided by the publisher.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Worth a read as it's Agatha Christie I do prefer Poirot or Marple booksPublished 5 months ago by Jeanie McCall-Whiting
Agatha Christie novels are a must - the story lines twist and turn as any good murder mystery should.Published on 14 Aug. 2014 by David
An anthology from Agatha Christie is always a treat,and this is as usual a good one,that most people will enjoy...........Published on 22 July 2014 by Mrs W Waugh
A series of short stories, some more convincing than others, by the Queen of Crime. A great bedside book that cna be dipped into at will.Published on 29 Jun. 2014 by shesings