12 February 2010

Recent reading: In the dark of the night

In the Dark of the Night In the Dark of the Night by John Saul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was looking for a no-brain-strain novel to read before going to sleep, read the blurb on a few, and picked this one, and brought it home a couple of days ago.

It's a ghost story, sort of.

Three American high school boys are staying with their families in adjacent lakeside cottages for the summer. One family has rented an old house that has been unoccupied since the previous owner disaappeared a few years previously, in mysterious circumstances, but the reader already knows that he drowned in the lake trying to escape the voices in his head.

The boys discover a hidden room in an outbuilding with a lot of broken or dismantled objects, a table without a leg, a hacksaw without a blade, a doctor's bag without surgical implements, a lamp without a shade. There's an old ledger that shows that exorbitant prices were paid for some of these.

Then the boys start having identical nightmares of violence, in which one or all of them are involved. When some of the nightmares start coming true, they get scared, and think they myst keep away from the hidden room, but something keeps drawing them back.

It's an interesting plot idea, and at times I thought it might be a four star book, but in the end the author chickens out, and it degenerates into an unconvincing slasher story, a bit of an anticlimax after the build-up, and the symbolism of the objects isn't really made clear.

But still, wasn't looking for great literature when I bought it, just light bed-time reading.

The author is John Saul, who is apparently not the same as John Ralston Saul, another author whose books I have read.

View all my reviews >>


CherryPie said...

You read ghost stories to go to sleep on?

Steve Hayes said...


If they are exciting enough they keep me awake until I'm really too tired to read any more, then I go to sleep.

James Higham said...

Cherie took the words out of my mouth.


Related Posts with Thumbnails