More books to give away!
Last February I read The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish and here's what I had to say about it:
"Warning: don't give this book to younger children, and don't read it yourself if you're on your own, particularly in a large old country house, or are of a nervous disposition - it is truly scary!
That said, I enjoyed [the novel] very much and I raced through it as if I, too, were pursued by the ghostly presences of Glebe House. It has all the classic elements of the sinister, supernatural story, the big, crumbling house which has been shut up for years, a tragedy in the past, the pages of a diary found by the current occupants. It tells of Elliott and Ben moving into the ancient building while their father carries out restoration work there; although they otherwise have free run of the place, they may not enter the forbidding East Wing, long boarded up but holding a strange fascination for the boys. The huge and labyrinthine adjunct to the main building is not all that draws the youngsters, though, for throughout the house there are menacing portraits of a previous owner, the man who built the wing - always dressed in hunting attire, always holding a weapon and always with his prey at his feet. And then there's the estate graveyard close by ...
As the saying goes, better the devil you know, etc., and true enough, when you're not sure who or what you're up against, exactly who your adversary is, then fear is limitless. That's where the first half of the book is particularly successful, for as the boys experience strange, unsettling happenings, and they seem to be in thrall to a power they cannot identify or understand, the book makes genuinely chilling reading. As it moves on, so the boys make discoveries which let the story open up for them, and for the reader, and it's here that the question of who - or what - they can trust becomes crucial.
Fast-paced, thoroughly gripping with as many twists and turns and dead-ends as the dreadful East Wing itself, [...] read it on a warm summer afternoon when you have plenty of company!"
The book has just come out in paperback, and Orion, its publishers, have kindly put up five copies to be given away, though they will be doing the posting and have specified that the draw is open to readers in the UK and Eire only. To enter, please leave a comment here naming a 'haunting tale' that you've read - it doesn't have to feature ghosts or the like, just be a story that has lingered in the memory; if no book has affected you in that way, no matter, just pop your name in the hat anyway, and I'll draw the winners in a few days' time.