I’ve read a couple of books by this author, and they are great spooky horror reads. The Ritual in particular was both horrifying and enthralling so I held out great hopes for this book.
“DON’T NEVER COME BACK”
Catherine Howard works for Osberne, a firm of valuers and auctioneers, and is asked to value the contents of the Red House, which had been the home of M H Mason, master taxidermist and puppeteer until he committed suicide many years previous. Since then, his niece, now 93 years of age has been the curator of his works, most of which have never been seen by the outside world. (See – spooky already!) Only the elderly Edith and one servant live in the house; the rest of the rooms seem to be filled with specimens of Mason’s work – horrifying, vivid recreations of desperate moments of war and death and destruction; skilfully captured animals frozen in a moment in time; dark visions, chemical aromas, skitterings around the corners of each corridoor, hushed noises outside the closed door of Catherine’s bedroom. Catherine has always lived on the edge of her nerves; will this experience drive her over the edge?
My goodness, this novel spooked me. Almost all the narrative is that of Catherine, as she finds herself in a nightmare she can’t seem to get out of. So the reader is drawn into that nightmare as she descends into it, and we feel and discover the things that she feels and discovers at the same time. I found this book totally riveting; I was engrossed from the first page to the last, but only put it down when I couldn’t bear to keep reading at night – I think this is a ‘to be read in the bright light of day’ book. Great stuff.
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