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Monday, 18 October 2010

The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley [Review]

Written by: Chris Priestley.
Published by: Bloomsbury.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 4th October 2010.
Rating: 4/5.


Official synopsis: "Michael Vyner recalls a terrible story, one that happened to him. One that would be unbelievable if it weren't true! Michael's parents are dead and he imagines that he will stay with the kindly lawyer, executor of his parents' will ...Until he is invited to spend Christmas with his guardian in a large and desolate country house. His arrival on the first night suggests something is not quite right when he sees a woman out in the frozen mists, standing alone in the marshes. But little can prepare him for the solitude of the house itself as he is kept from his guardian and finds himself spending the Christmas holiday wandering the silent corridors of the house seeking distraction. But lonely doesn't mean alone, as Michael soon realises that the house and its grounds harbour many secrets, dead and alive, and Michael is set the task of unravelling some of the darkest secrets of all."

The Dead of Winter is a chilling story perfect for the cold, dark nights of Winter, and one that should definitely not be missed. 

It's a little slow in getting started, but once the mystery of Hawton Mere begins to reveal itself, you are well and truly caught in the books grip. It truly is edge of the seat reading, as the story reveals itself and you try to guess what might happen next. Priestley's writing is brilliant. It's fluid and unstoppable, you just cannot stop reading. Very compelling. 

What I like about this book is that it chills and terrifies while not being explicit. It's a more traditional scare - flickering lights and scary noises aplenty having more effect than any blood, guts and gore could! No stomach-tuning passages to be found in this book, but they simply aren't needed! I almost feel that any explicit horror would spoil the overall feel of the book!

And another plus, is that you some aspects of the plot aren't initially obvious. It isn't till the end that things click and you realise that it's all been building up.

The Dead of Winter is definitely not to be missed. It's perfect for Winter nights, and will have you on the edge of your seat, while gasping with fear, and shivering, all at the same time. A wonderful reading experience!

My thanks to Emma at Bloomsbury for my copy!

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