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The Crying Boy

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  39 reviews
There is something in the shadows...

Clayton and Avril Shaw have lost their little boy and are still grieving when they move into Swallow's Nest on the Yorkshire moors.

In their new house, Avril discovers a painting and is intrigued by the history surrounding it. When she learns that the boy in the painting was deaf, like her dead son, she starts to try and communicate with
Paperback, 408 pages
Published March 31st 2017 by Bloodhound Books
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
As soon as I read the blurb for this book I had to get it straight away. Good call! It did not let me down in the slightest. The plot in this book is just brilliant - so intriguing and one to hold your interest all the way through. When I read that this book was based on a true story I was flabbergasted and somewhat even more disturbed. Meet on of the Crying Boys..

The Crying Boy is one of many paintings painted by the one artist where owners claim that they are indestructible in a fire and the c
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the creepiest, chilling reads I have read this year to date.

Its sadness surrounds Clayton and Avril who sadly lost their little boy. They are still grieving when they decide to move house.
They take up residence in the Yorkshire moors in a home called Swallows nest.

But in the house Avril discovers a painting. This has captured her curiosity, so she explores further only to find the painting is of a boy not disimilar to her child she is grieving for and once more, the boy in the p
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy flying Scotsman, what the heck was that?!

Really, there's only one word that applies to this book and it's "creepy". Creeeeeeepy! The stuff of nightmares!

My in-laws used to have this painting on the wall in their living room. Even then, it freaked me out and I didn't even know the story behind it back then. And no, before you ask, their house never burnt down.

I'd like to say that in the spirit of broadening my horizon, I picked up this book because I'm not normally interested in the paranorm
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is the second novel I have read by this author and I have to say she sure knows how to write an atmospheric and disturbing read!

The house that Avril and Clayton move in to sounds wonderful. A big rambling house set in the wonderful moors of Haworth where the famous Bronte sisters lived. Sadly though it does come with a bit of history.

I loved that the story is set around an actual painting that has a very disturbing history of its own. It makes the whole story feel more real which makes it v
Mark Tilbury
This book is, in one word, creepy! The opening packs a punch with the-painting-that-won't-burn's POV. I liked this because it's different and grabs your attention. I would have liked more of it occasionally through the rest of the book too.

Avril's emotions and her reaction to the painting are brilliantly written, as is Clay's character. Their relationship is really put through the wringer as they both try to cope in different ways. A chilling atmosphere is maintained throughout the book and the
Joanne Robertson
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to scary stuff in films, on tv, in books…..okay so most things! But I was recommended Jane E James first book, The Long Weekend, and so was eagerly awaiting her second. It took me a little longer to read than it would normally though as I tend to read in bed…in the dark…AND I JUST COULDN’T DO IT!! Honestly this book is so creepy that I still can’t even look at that cover and I’ve had to take it off my kindle!

I remember when The Sun newspaper first reported t
Debbie Marin
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
There are a lot of 'holes' in this story. Very frustrating ...more
Mark Wilson
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Crying Boy is an excellent myth on which to base a novel and one that Jane James clearly has some in depth knowledge on. The opening section of the book – in first-person from the painting’s POV- really jolted me, hard. This was an excellent section, wholly immersive, tantalisingly creepy and pitch-perfect in the narrative choice. It also demonstrated a particular strong grasp and use of dialogue by James. All in, The Crying Boy has one of the strongest openings to any book I’ve read. Ever. ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Did I read a different book to everyone else?!
This was terrible!

I was intrigued by the cover and blurb, as I had read about the Crying Boy paintings as a teen; but the book itself is very poor quality.

The characters barely even qualify as one-dimensional, let alone believable, and the story itself seems hastily thrown together.

Plus, it's supposed to be a horror but there were zero scares in there.
You could have Vincent Price reading this to a particularly sensitive toddler and still not get a re
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well this has been one crazy creepy read, I think it's the creepiest story I've ever read. It has seriously messed with my head.

I'll say one thing for sure, I so never want to come into contact with The Crying Boy. I'd definitely run for the hills.

It was a brilliant read, so wasn't what I was expecting at all. The story plot was very cleverly written and kept me captivated throughout.  I was completely surprised by the ending as so wasn't expecting it.

If you like your reads to be creepy, then
Julie-Ann Evans
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
The synopsis of the book made it sound like a good read but the first twenty chapters were boring. I had to fast forward to the end to see if there was any point continuing. . but I didn't. This author is very descriptive and good with words, but the story just bored me. Maybe I missed out the part where it got better and warranted a five star review. .😠 ...more
Jackie Stitt
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved reading this book the characters were very interesting.
But it was the last chapter, that had my heart racing the most above the rest of the book, which was excellent.
Mistress Maleficent #darklings
The crying boy is the eagerly awaited second novel from the truly talented author Jane E James. As my friends know, i'm a big fan and after the wait this one does not disappoint.

We meet Avril & Clayton. A couple who have suffered a tragedy that no-one should have to bear. I cannot imagine the heartache and the upset that they've had to endure. To help move on, they move house. They buy a stunning long, low, sprawling property that sits on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, Swallows Nest. With the
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I remember the picture of the crying boy from my childhood, we had 1 which I was always mesmerised by. Years later visiting family in New Zealand, I was surprised to see the same pictures hanging on their wall. I didn't know anything about the curse until reading this book, for that I am grateful. The chilling story told so eerily by Jane, would have had me booking into the nearest hotel for the duration of my stay.

A great tale, well told x
David Murphy
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I did like this book and the overall story was excellent. The mood in the book was often chilling and gave some truly creepy moments, more so than a lot of other horror books. I do need to mention the fact that it contained quite a few plot holes, some questionable characters. My main issue was the short chapters, I felt that the consent ending of chapters continued to pull me out of the mood which had been set in the last chapter.
Livia Sbarbaro
Clever...a story that creeps up on you..Sssh don't turn around

Avril and Clayton move to a house on the moors for a fresh start after the loss of their child.Avril is not over the loss yet,when she finds a painting of the crying boy the resemblance of the painting to the child who died makes her put the painting up on the wall...and from here the story takes a sinister turn..A neighbour the retired fire chief makes friends with Clayton but Avril is not quite as keen on him ..there's something abo
Nov 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Almost all of the books I got from NetGalley are due not until next year. So I thought this would be a good time to read some books I bought myself. But apparently I am better at choosing books from NetGalley than find some of my own on amazon. This book is the third or even fourth in a row of books I bought which I really disliked.

The blurb sounds promising and I heard about the cursed paintings many years ago. And I am always looking for a good horror book (which is hard to find). I saw all th
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Avril and Clayton are starting a fresh in their new home, however Avril feels a chill from the home, called Swallows Nest and feels her presence is unwelcome.

Jane has given us a story with great atmosphere in various guises. From the setting on the moors, the portrait. I remember the story of the painting as we had one, it really was chilling at the time and Jane has captured that feeling greatly and added a layer of ghostly telling with it.
The tension builds from the beginning, and Avril and Cl
Cherlynn Womack
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a creepy legend & a creepy book! I liked how this book was inspired by true events although the book is purely fiction & is based off the true history of the Crying Boy painting.
Arvil & Clayton move into their new home-one that was rebuilt when the original home was destroyed by a mysterious fire. The fire demolished the home & everything in it except for one thing...The Crying Boy painting. Little do Arvil & Clayton know the curse of the painting that they discover in the attic. Already pl
Joey Paul
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I've not read anything from this author before, but picked up this one on pre-order as it sounded very tantalising as far as darker books go. It was AMAZING! The story starts with a couple moving into a new home on the Yorkshire moors, but yet a strange painting that bears a resemblance to their recently deceased child hidden away in the attic is the centre of a scary curse. With Avril feeling the loss of her son and her husband, Clay drifted away from her the couple are thrown in at the de ...more
Chris Nolan
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am very grateful to Bloodhound Books for sending me an ARC of The Crying Boy. This is a very well written and enjoyable book and, were it not for my own personal reservations about stories involving the paranormal, I would be inclined to award five stars. The Crying Boy of the title is a painting which is said to be capable of inflicting a curse on those who come into contact with it, and this is certainly the case with a couple who, having lost their child, move from Leeds into the Yorkshire ...more
Ross Greenwood
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My review of The Crying Boy by Jane E James

I remember the drama with the paintings from the Sun all those years ago and was keen to read Jane's book.

The cover is creepy and so are the first few pages.

There's a lot to recommend here. I was involved quickly and found myself coming back to the book regularly. It's a big read but I needed to get to the end.

The characters are believable, the suspense palpable and, best of all, the similes are lovable. Well done on some excellent writing.

Sheilagh Allcorn
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

I found the beginning of this a bit disjointed but that may be because I was trying to read it outside in direct sunlight on a kindle fire! However once I got passed this I really enjoyed this book. I remember the 'curse of the crying boy' in the papers and this story really played to the fears that particular tabloid frenzy brought out. I love being creeped out and this book certainly did that. Definitely worth a read.
Melissa  Williams
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really, really tried to get into this novel but to no avail. The description of the story intrigued me yet I'm confused by the high ratings. It simply couldn't keep my attention, I was skipping ahead to see if things warmed up. Both Avril and her Clayton are dull, one sided characters and nothing about how they were written could pique my interest.
It's a sad and reluctant one star from me. Such a shame.
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, happy moving day, then........
When this kicks off it really kicks in.
The crying boy alone has a long troubled history, to then weave this into a story! Brilliant
Such a happy day, new home, life should get better right? Read this then you'll know why I'm answering, yeah right!
Buy it enjoy it
Craig Gillan
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well written book that captures the imagination, creepy characters that you can't second guess what they're going to do next ...more
Lauren Conley
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
There were a lot of things that the author really needed to go into more details about, some stuff didn’t make as much sense as it should have. I was also left with a lot of questions. I also don’t see why that whole therapist part was even in there considering it was only in the book the one time and by the way that introduced her it seemed like she was going to be a bigger character in the story. I was also very disappointed with the ending.
John Morris
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark and brooding tale.

A psychological ghost story/thriller. This was not a story to read just before bedtime. It was frighteningly creepy, with an unexpected and shocking ending. As with other stories from the pen of Ms. James, this troubling tale will stay with me for some time. No happy ending this one but, nevertheless, it was one hell of a read.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Spoiler alert

Interesting story, pretty well written. But the ending was terrible. No need to end this story on such a negative note. I think this author enjoys screwing with her readers.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have had the pleasure of meeting this author at a signing event in 2017. I have had a few of her books on my Kindle ever since. And now I have eventually gotten around to reading The Crying Boy, I only wonder why I didn’t read it sooner!

The Crying Boy is a creepy, chilling read. It is packed full of intrigue and suspense with threads of horror entwined.

Jane E. James has put a lot of time and hard work into this book and that is clear to see in the detail included. It is these details that snar
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Best selling author, Jane E James creates chilling reads that appeal to fans of psychological thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction. Jane loves to weave tense and haunting tales that stay in the reader's mind. All her books are standalone novels.

Her 2nd novel, The Crying Boy (a compelling suspense thriller inspired by actual events) became an overnight best seller on Amazon, knocking both Stephen

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