Skip to main content

CBR4 #5: Haunted by James Herbert

I love a ghost story. I'm not especially picky about them, but I prefer those in which the ghost is a definable character rather than a mysterious evil force. While an anonymous angry spirit is certainly spooky, a specific vengeful ghost is much more interesting in my opinion.

James Herbert's Haunted is such a ghost story, though the actual existence of the ghost is in question most of the way through. Protagonist David Ash works for a London supernatural society as a sort of ghost hunter. Mostly, he travels around and tries to debunk hauntings with science, equipment, and modern thought. He's a notorious skeptic, even though he does work with people who do seem to have paranormal gifts.

When he gets invited out to Edbrook by the young Mariell siblings and their spinster aunt, he agrees to go without much thought. Since Ash believes very little in the spiritual realm, he doesn't think he has much to worry about. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he finds that everything is just the slightest bit off-kilter. He isn't sure whether the problem is with the house or with himself, but something is certainly wrong. The longer he stays, the more perilous circumstances become.

I liked the book quite a bit, and only partially figured out the twist ending. The character of David is fairly well-drawn, though the others are all a bit vague. However, the story is more about the plot, which churns along at a decent clip. All said, it's not a bad book--definitely entertaining--but nothing special.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #2 - Southern Gods

I've had Southern Gods on my TBR list for so long I no longer remember why I put it there. Was it a recommendation from Amazon? From Goodreads? Did someone I know recommend it? Did it cross my path as a "If you liked __________ then you'll like this too!"

Maybe I heard it through the grapevine?

I only know that recently, I happened to come across it on my wishlist and decided to go ahead and splurge on it.

I'm glad I did.

In 1951 Memphis, war veteran and leg-breaker-for-hire Bull Ingraham gets a new assignment: a record company has lost one of their employees somewhere. Early Freeman set off to deliver new records to radio stations, and has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. His boss at Helios Records is anxious to find him...and also anxious to find a mysterious blues musician whose music can do terrible things to the living -- and to the dead.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Sarah Rheinhart leaves her abusive husband and returns to her family home, where …

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…