Book Reviews

The Perils and Dangers of this Night by Stephen Gregory

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List Price: £7.99

 

Paperback: 272 Pages.

Published: 07 August 2008 by Virgin Books

Edition: First Edition

ISBN: 9780753513798

EAN: 9780753513798

A bleak mid-winter. An icy wind blows through the corridors of Foxwood Manor, a boys' prep-school deep in the woodlands of Dorset. The boys have gone home at the end of the Christmas term and the old house is left to the headmaster, Dr Kemp, his wife, and Alan Scott, a boy abandoned by his mother.

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Great Atmosphere

At the end of the Christmas term, Alan Scott is the only boy left at Foxwood Manor Boarding School. He feels abandoned and left to spend the holidays as an unwelcome guest of the headmaster and his wife. A strange couple then stop by and get hemmed in by the snow. An old boy and his unwitting girlfriend they introduce an element of uncertainty and ultimately danger into the scenario. What follows is a masterly tale of suspense leading on to horror.

The skill in this book is the first half. The author spends a great many chapters in setting the scene and enabling the reader to understand the relationships between the headmaster, his wife and Alan Scott. Alan Scott's feeling of being deserted by his Mother and pressurised by the headmaster result in him seeking friendship from the strange couple who are trapped at the school for Christmas day. This situation is partly responsible for the events that follow. Although this scene setting was quite slow in places, I still enjoyed it. The author builds up the foundations upon which the action of the second part are built. Without the understanding the isolation of Foxwood manor or the mindset of the characters, this would be a very basic story.

The second part of the book picks up speed quite quickly going from snide comments to outright bullying and then on to the horror towards the ending. There is a slight hint of the supernatural in there which you can interpret as you wish.

On the face of it, this is quite a simple story. However, the atmosphere and suspense built by the author turn this from an average horror to a skilled piece of writing.

 
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