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The Nightmare Room

(The Messy Man #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  658 ratings  ·  145 reviews
A boy in a basement, a man in a booth and a darkness that threatens to swallow them both...

New York audiobook narrator Peter Larson and his wife Hannah head to his hometown of Maple City to help Peter's ailing father and to put a recent tragedy behind them. Though the small, Midwestern town seems the idyllic place to start afresh, Peter and Hannah will soon learn that evi
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published May 29th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published January 23rd 2018)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  658 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2018-books
When Pete Larson's father's health begins failing him, Pete and his wife Hannah head back to Pete's home town. They move into an old farmhouse his father owns and stir up some old demons, both figuratively and literally...

Chris Sorensen hit me up to read an ARC of this and I took the bait after reading the teaser.

The Nightmare Room is the story of both a haunted house and a haunted man. The house is haunted by the spectre of a grey man and the child he is tormenting. Pete and Hannah are haunted
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.5 Stars
This is my new favorite haunted house story!
Video Review:

From the first sentence, I was immediately pulled into this immersive narrative. The story had so much emotional depth, exploring themes of tragedy and grief through well developed characters. The scenes involving the audiobook recording in the basement were fascinating and unsettling to read. As an audiobook narrator, the author was able to bring first-hand experience to his story.

Well-written and w
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Thank you to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

I wasn't expecting to be so emotionally invested in this story but just a few chapters in and I knew this was going to be a risky horror novel. I say that because my favorite element of horror is the risk. I love to fall in love with the characters so that when they are faced with challenges, in this case, an inherited farm house, ailing parents and grief from a previous loss--there is a lot of risk because we like our prot
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one so fast. It felt as if the pages were just turning themselves. This novel is totally my jam. It's a haunted house story with so much more than just scares. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of creepy moments in The Nightmare Room, but the story also has a lot of heart. By the end of the novel you really care about these characters.

Audiobook narrator Peter Larson and his wife Hannah need a fresh start, so the two of them pick up and move back to Pete's hometown of Maple City to
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Nightmare Room lives up to its title. It is a slowly building creepfest fueled by nightmares for the first half then picks up speed in its later half.

Peter and Hannah need a new start after a devastating loss and move back to Peter’s hometown to help with his ailing parents and to heal themselves. They move into a property that Peter’s dad purchased that is huge, old and in disrepair. Hannah loves the idea of the old home but Peter’s not so sure.

"Hannah had gotten it wrong. This was not the
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, horror, ghost
I liked this book so much I read it twice! This time around I listened to the unabridged audiobook read by the author who just so happens to be a professional narrator himself. Since he's a pro and the material is his, his voice hits all the right notes. He's engaging, pleasant and unnervingly menacing when he needs to be and I recommend it highly! 4 1/2 Stars

Here's my review of the story:

The Nightmare Room lives up to its title. It is a slowly building creepfest fueled by nightmares for the fi
THE NIGHTMARE ROOM, by Chris Sorensen, is Book One of "The Messy Man" series. This was my first introduction to Chris' work as an author. When the failing health of his father--who is relocated into a nursing home--necessitates Peter Larson coming back to his hometown of Maple City in order to get affairs in order, he decides it's the perfect opportunity for he and his wife Hannah to move there and get a "fresh start". What they didn't expect was to find that his father had an old home--in addit ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**Edit - already read this, but starting the audiobook on 7/10**

"But the door...It's breathing."

I LOVE THE NIGHTMARE ROOM. I read this as a buddy read with my friend Mindi, and this book was so good. It's unsettling and creepy, and I enjoyed the story the entire way through. There were even a couple times when I was looking around to see if someone was behind me. I think the suspense was done really well in this novel, and I was totally invested in this story. I finished it in about 24 hours be
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
My co-host is officially reviewing The Nightmare Room for the site. I forgot we'd accepted it for official review, and picked it up from KU because I'd seen so many good reviews on it. So, technically, Chris Sorenson will be getting two reviews from us! But mine is the one not submitted by the author for review consideration.

This was a dang good book. It feels like its been forever since I read a book that creeped me out as effectively as The Nightmare Room did. The story sucks you in at once ev
Cameron Chaney
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, horror, adult, 2018
You can see my video review HERE, but here is a look at my written thoughts:

Haunted house stories, as predictable as they often are, never fail to show me a spooky good time on a dark and stormy night. Cliches and all, I enjoy their Gothic sensibilities and the way they reflect the divide between belief and skepticism, life and death, and how those things collide by the end of the story. But every so often, a book will come along and use that basic structure only to build onto it, making it some
The Grim Reader
One man's trash is another man's treasure. I've seen many a rave about The Nightmare Room and so I was excited to finally dig into it. I'm sorry to say, this book did nothing for me. I know ghost stories aren't the sort that set the pulse racing, but man, this was far too pedestrian for my liking. It isn't a big book either, under 300 pages, but honestly, very little happens for the first half of the story and I found myself drifting away as I lethargically turned the pages. Wake me up when it's ...more
Michael Hicks
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, bought
A narrator of more than 200 audiobooks and author of the middle-grade book, The Mad Scientists of New Jersey, Chris Sorensen make his horror novel debut with Book 1 in The Messy Man series, The Nightmare Room.

After moving back to his hometown to care for his sick father, Pete and Hannah Larson move into an old farmhouse with more than its fair share of problems. The stairs going to the second floor are slightly crooked, the third step to the basement poses a hazard, and rowdy teenagers have been
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
The Nightmare Room is such a great haunting tale. I have been mostly reading crime fiction lately and this paranormal horror novel was a fresh change of genres for me. I am a lover of great cover art and this one was really creepy and fit the story perfectly.

The author's writing style hooked me right from the beginning and kept me interested throughout. The dialog was realistic between characters. The story progressed smoothly and I thought I had figured out the ending but I was surprised (and w
Frank Errington
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

At its heart, The Nightmare Room (The Messy Man Series Book 1) is a ghost story and a very good one to boot.

Here's a killer opening line for you...

"The boy woke to the sound of his screams."

The back story is that of an abused child, but part of the mystery is the child's identity.

"He hesitated...but why? He'd already made this run two times this week. Both Monday and Thursday, he's awakened screaming, bringing down the Old Man's wrath, and sending him here. To the penalty box. To time
Red Lace Reviews
After a personal tragedy strikes Peter and Hannah Larson, they find themselves picking up their lives and moving house. Said house isn't what it seems - something lurks within, seeming to originate from the dark and gloomy basement. As the presence continues to focus upon the two, its determination only grows, causing obvious and damaging rifts between husband and wife. It appears to already know Peter in some intimate way, and shocking, deeply hidden secrets soon come to light.

(WARNING: This re
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
It has been a while since I've sped through a book that fast! Chris Sorensen is a gifted storyteller because this was absolutely gripping. This seems like a normal haunted house story starting with the couple that move into an old house for a new beginning after a tragedy. There was more than that. I liked the hope in this story, that and the setting. There was something unsettling about a soundproof booth in the basement that is genuinely creepy. Recommend to fans of haunted house stories!
Sherry Fundin
I love it…Don’t go in the basement. LOL Bad things happen in the basements of horror novels and I must admit, at least through words, I want to be one of the first to venture into the dark, dank depths of the abyss.

Once you read The Nightmare Room, you will realize how appropriate the tag line is to the story.

As soon as Peter Larson returned to his home town, Maple City, I knew…it’s on. The scenario made me think of Steven King and I am eager to see if Chris Sorensen can meet my expectations.

Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was a very fast read.

The obvious reason for this is that it was under 300 pages, but I also ripped through this because his characters were very well developed and the story moved along
at a very tight pace.

This is the second haunted house story I read this year, the first being the fantastic Kill Creek, and this one was quite good.
Like Scott Thomas, Chris Sorenson has put his unique spin on the haunted house idea. At one point I muttered "wow, how clever..." at a certain development.

There i
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scary
4.5 Stars! Now this was a scary good story. This is Chris Sorensen's first novel and the fact that he makes his living by narrating books makes the success of this book awe inspiring. The story just works, and while it is a horror story complete with a demon, it is also a love story, a friend story, and a family story. The parts where Sorensen writes the father with dementia are so realistic it took me back to similar visits we've had to cope with in our family.

I read/listened to this book and
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
A jaw-dropping ghost story that may even frighten the ghosts!

Let me start by saying that if life hadn't gotten in the way, I would have finished this book in one sitting!

Setting aside the spooks, specters, and demons for a second, the characters in the book are so enjoyable. Peter Larson's wife in all her sassiness cracked me up with her ability to wrap people around he finger. For me, she balanced the storyline. Despite the pain felt by her and Peter and the life event that caused them to mov
Glenn Rolfe
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great characters, fantastic story, and a very interesting demon. Sorensen's THE NIGHTMARE ROOM is one of the best horror books of 2018!

I give it 5 stars!
Jen (Book Den)
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
*dnf @ 46%, but only because there are too many layers of child horror for me. It's a great haunted house story with imaginative scenes. I wish I didn't have to put it down.
Josh reading
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a great read! I always love a story that I think I know where it’s going but ultimately cannot envision the ending, that is how the Nightmare Room read for me. As you read the book, you get the feeling that you know where the narrative is going and then suddenly,most unexpectedly, it becomes something else. In fact without delving into spoiler territory, I could see a potential future installment in this series that might focus on other characters and how the “Messy Man” might affect th ...more
Don Gillette
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At long last...a straight-up haunted house / ghost story that was original, scary, and compelling.
The Nightmare Room isn't only the best horror novel I've read this year, it's the best one I've read in a couple of years primarily because it makes no pretense that it's anything but a scary story.
The characterizations never pushed the "over-the-top" limit and the human conflicts were as believable as any I've read recently; the balance between sympathy and empathy vacillated in such a way the rea
Daniel Rowley
I found this book a little bit boring for such a short one. Took me a while to read as after 50% the story goes flat. It just feels like a shallow haunted house novel that i've read a million times. I was intrigued about the voice narration job that Peter had, I felt like the book could have gone into more depth about the stresses of his work environment. Also missed some great opportunities to really creep out the reader with his audio playbacks. The tension building just doesn't work. If you'r ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Totally stupid

This book made no sense it wasn't scary as the name would suggest it was just stupid and boring hated it would recommend it to be burned
Angela Crawford
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nightmare Room is one creepy little gem! This fast paced ghost story will have you hanging on every word as you try to solve the mystery surrounding the eerie old house. Peter and Hannah are both believable and likeable characters thrown into a nightmare inducing situation. Chris Sorenson has created a haunting that was terrifying without being clichéd interspaced with moments of levity and sorrow and enough twist to keep you guessing until the horrifying end. This novel had me looking up to ...more
Brian Fatah Steele
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A classic style horror novel in all the best ways, with nods to familiar tropes without being cliche. Disturbing on both a mundane and supernatural level, everything about the story feels real. I’d highly recommend it for someone looking to dip their toes into the genre.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book. It had me in suspense the whole read. I didn't feel that it was horror book, to me it went more to supernatural with some horror nicknacks, but it creeped me out!!
So It's starts with a young boy getting in trouble with his dad and his dad sends him to the basement. He encounters a creepy ass ghost, then it jumps to Peter heading back home because his father has an incident that they end up sending him to a care facility.
Anyways, it goes back and forth between Peter
Alex (Hey Little Thrifter)
Peter and Hannah, who have lost their young son, pick up and move to Peter's home town. The house they move into has some dark secrets in its past which begin to haunt the couple.

This story started off quite promising. It's a classic premise and I was intrigued to see where it went. Unfortunately the more I read the less I enjoyed it. I found myself getting bored, the characters became annoying so I didn't care what happened to them, the emotional aspects of the story didn't have the impact the
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