Friday, April 20, 2012
Dead of Winter by Chris Priestly
An orphaned boy, a desolate house, and a poltergeist with a terrible itch for revenge…
After Michael's parents die, he is invited to stay with his guardian in a desolate country house. He begins to suspect something is not quite right on the day he arrives when he spots a mysterious woman out in the frozen mists. But little can prepare him for the solitude of the house itself. His guardian is rarely seen, and there's a malevolent force lurking in an old hallway mirror. As the chilling suspense builds, Michael realizes that the house and its grounds harbor many more secrets-both dead and alive
Michael's life is thrown upside down when his mother dies and leaves him orphaned. He is told at the funeral that he will now be living with Sir Stephen Clarendon and moved to his country estate. Upon arrival he begins to hear the whisperings of the help and staff of the haunting and rumors and stories of suicide. And then it's not long before he starts seeing them himself, through the windows and the mirrors and decides that he wants answers to this mystery.
Set in Victorian England this story has a Gothic overtone along with the suspenseful mystery of the plot. Although the poltergeist is meant to be more of a lean towards a horror novel, beyond being creepy I do not believe it will cause any nightmares, even for younger readers. It is a shorter book that can easily be read in a day or two and ideas that are geared towards younger readers.
I have never read anything by this author before. I think that the writing is more for the younger readers, middle grade. I think that readers would also enjoy reading The Poisoned House. Same Gothic feeling, with a female main character and a great ghost story as well.