Book Review

How Much Atmosphere Does One Need??

I began reading a new book last night and perhaps my choice wasn’t wise when you consider the weather conditions at the time. It was blowing a gale and the whole house was shaking at times because of the force of the winds. I could hear debris being blown about in the street and I was convinced that the tall pine tree in the back garden was going to snap at some point in the night. The bumps and bangs from things being knocked about, coupled with the moans and the shrieks of the wind as it found its way past the corners of buildings, bringing down countless bits of broken guttering from the neighbour’s house made it a pretty lively time out there.

To try and get to sleep, I picked up one of my library books (taken out before Christmas and renewed last week – I will NOT be beaten!) and didn’t really pay much attention to the title “Ghost Song”. It is by Sarah Rayne and having read some of her stuff before I thought it would be a nice juicy murder to get myself stuck into before bed, thus dispelling the effects of the weather outside.


I was expecting murder, not singing ghosts!

This story is set partly in Edwardian London and partly in the present day. It’s about the goings on in a boarded up theatre on Bankside, the fictitious Tarleton, and it is alive with characters that you can almost feel breathing down your neck while you read. You might think it’s a funny turn of phrase that – “breathing down your neck” – but this story is absolutely packed with atmosphere, shadows, strange noises, weird movements of curtains in the boxes…in short, yes, a ghostly presence and a juicy mystery to boot.

I started reading at about 11.15pm but I got so engrossed (and freaked out) by it I had to keep reading until either a) I’d found a suitable, non-ghostly, bit that wouldn’t give me nightmares, or b) my eyes gave up on me and I couldn’t see any more. (I nearly said “until my eyes gave up the ghost” but even I’m not that punnish…)

The story is absolutely gripping and I had to read until gone 2am to get to a point where my eyes couldn’t possibly focus any more before I could put it down. I have picked it up a couple of times through the day today because I wanted to get back into it but I’ve had other things to do and couldn’t really justify spending much time with a book in my hands.

But it’s bedtime now…mwahahahahaha!!! Look out ghosties, I’m coming to get you!

I’ll do a proper book review when I’ve finished it so you can judge for yourself whether or not I did the right thing in starting to read it during the worst windy – and therefore noisy – weather I think I have ever experienced in my adult life.

Night all…don’t let the bedbugs bite…..


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