Very good prose, very dark, Gothic style and scary. Very well researched and the author knows his stuff. It focuses only on two characters though, and I would have liked more interaction with the rest of the inhabitants in the building and more development regarding Stephen.
** WHAT IS IT ABOUT **
Some doors are better left closed . . .
In Barrington House, an upmarket block in London, there is an empty apartment. No one goes in, no one comes out. And it's been that way for fifty years. Until the night watchman hears a disturbance after midnight and investigates. What he experiences is enough to change his life forever.
A young American woman, Apryl, arrives at Barrington House. She's been left an apartment by her mysterious Great Aunt Lillian who died in strange circumstances. Rumours claim Lillian was mad. But her diary suggests she was implicated in a horrific and inexplicable event decades ago.
Determined to learn something of this eccentric woman, Apryl begins to unravel the hidden story of Barrington House. She discovers that a transforming, evil force still inhabits the building. And the doorway to Apartment 16 is a gateway to something altogether more terrifying . . .
** WHAT I THOUGHT OF IT **
I won this in a competition and when it dropped through my letterbox, my first impression was that it sounded intriguing and gripping - a standard ghost story.
Having read the first paragraph, I was convinced this was going to scare the hell out of me but I am not one to put a book down once I've started as I always NEED to know what happens so I persevered. As I got further into the book I realised that it was not what I had expected, and actually was a story of some extremely dark forces which had destroyed people's lives and had every intention of destroying more.
It is extremely well written and the author easily makes you like certain characters, feel sorry for others, and be repulsed by Felix Hessen. It is very deep in places, and I often had to go back and re-read sentences or paragraphs. Nevill really makes you feel that Felix Hessen is an actual figure in the past, and you feel the need to know what happened to him. Nevill creates the atmosphere well throughout, which I must say is sometimes quite horrific. There are some hints throughout the book which keep you guessing and also a twist towards the end! The chapters jump back and forth from Seth to Apryl's points of view so depending on which character you relate to best can mean you look forward to some chapters more than others.
It's quite a graphic book, and certainly not for the faint hearted or those prone to nightmares (I could only read this during daylight hours for fear of having nightmares!!)
However, ultimately for me, no matter how good the prose throughout the book had been I felt the storyline was building and building, but then was really quite disappointed with the ending (I won't say anymore). But for a debut novel, a good read if you're into supernatural/horror/ghost stories!