Synapsis: A brooding Englishman spends his days skulking inside a haunted estate on a quest to understand his enigmatic childhood hero. Like a silent movie, readers must endure his inner monologue as he deciphers who—or what—is behind the bumps in the night.
What didn’t work: The story was drowning in the pages upon pages of setting details. When James Mommouth walks into a room, we get flooded with every painstaking detail – from the wallpaper patterns to the specks of dust on the bookshelf. Typically with audiobooks, I tend to appreciate these long, meandering riffs because I don’t miss out on anything important when my mind wanders. But geez – this lady takes mood and setting to a whole new level of overindulgence. After the first couple chapters I was already tired of this stuffy man’s inner monologue as he crept around dark rooms. I really didn’t care for this dude, especially when he likened himself to a “scared silly woman” in one of his many eventless eerie interludes. Needless to say, this is my first and last Susan Hill book. For gothic horror, I’ll turn to Barbara Michaels or Wendy Webb.
What worked: If your mind tends to wander while listening to audiobooks, this one’s for you. Trust me—you can space out for a half hour and not even miss a beat! Also, the dramatic prose is most impressive and I thruoughouly enjoyed the British narrator’s posh accent. Bloody brilliant—I dare say, good man!
Overall: I think you’d have to be a die-hard fan of Susan Hill to appreciate this book. I, for one, need more action and bloodshed!