I don’t usually read ghost stories because – well, I’m a wimp. But when Hilary Rose at Tantor Audio asks me if I’m available to narrate a book for them, I clear my schedule and say ‘yes!’ Because the quality of the books she has been choosing for me recently is outstanding.
This House is Haunted by NY Times bestselling author John Boyne, set in England during the time of Charles Dickens may be the best yet.
I was fine – at first. The horror builds slowly, quietly with an underlying humor so you don’t realize what’s happening at first. I got to read a wonderful scene when Charles Dickens – by all reports as marvelous an actor as he was a writer – gives a “devilish” reading of “The Signal-Man.” I could do this. No problem.
Then the heroine, quiet, literary Eliza, arrives at Gaudlin Hall to look after two children. Who are alone.
There are no adults present. Terrifying things happen in the dark that may or may not be initiated by the living.
Boyne has a superb ear for dialogue and much of the power of this book is due to his understated, subtle writing style which I felt it was crucial to mirror in the narration. A case of less is more – and his portrayal of the children is so powerful because of he doesn’t over write them.
At one particularly scary point, just as a dark force started blowing Eliza Cain across the room, a door banged downstairs in my kitchen – and I screamed.
You will too. Happy Halloween.
To celebrate the release of This House Is Haunted a Goodreads giveaway has been set up for a chance to win one of five MP3-CDs from Oct 31-Nov 7! Open to residents of the US only. Clck on link at bottom of this page to enter and WIN!