The Haunted review

Goodreads: The Perry family’s new house is perfect-except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it’s too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.

I know, I know…I probably should wait to do this post – let the story sink in more – but I’d rather do it when emotions run high.

The story started out well enough – scary, a bit perplexing, even a trifle bit of humor.  The family is at the house and at first little things happen – a record player plays itself and a laundry basket seems to enjoy wandering around the house.  There is an eeriness that keeps you on seat’s edge but doesn’t go so far as to seem horrifying.  It is easy to like the children and even the parents though you can’t help but roll your eyes at how all of them refuse to tell each other what they have experienced for fear of ridicule.  I could see one or two of them being that way but all four? Doubtful.

I’m sure if I saw a monster in my room and I was a child, I would be screaming for my parents or, at the very least, running from the room.  Each character played the typical ghost story roles – the husband is skeptic, the mother is sure it is her own forgetfulness, the daughter is sullen and the boy is terrified.  It would have been nice if there had been some role reversal – let the wife, a lawyer, be the skeptic and the husband, who was the creative sort, be intimidated.

Sex scenes galore were a part of the story as well – it isn’t that I oppose them but they served no purpose other than to imply that the couple was acting different from they had when they lived elsewhere.  I didn’t need an anal sex scene to figure that one out.

Bentley didn’t get around to explaining the history of the house until the middle of the book and then sprang things on us that was rather irritating.  My writing teacher told me, and I’d have to agree, that no one likes things sprung on them when it is convenient for the character.  Such as, don’t make the wife a sudden crack shot with a rifle when the monster is coming at her without explaining earlier in the story that she was a sniper in the army when she was younger.  I found this rather annoying.

Overall, the book was predictable and like dozens of other haunted stories I’ve read with the same ending as well.  It was more than little disappointing.  I give the book a C-.

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