Teresa's Reviews > The Dead of Winter

The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley
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's review
Jan 07, 2011

liked it

The Dead of Winter is a children's book, aimed at 10-15 year olds, which can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It''s more of a novella than a novel although I refuse to get into literary debate about the differences between short stories, novelettes (?) and novellas - basically it is a story which one could easily read in one sitting.

Back to the story...it is Victorian London and young Michael Vyner, recently orphaned, is sent to spend the Christmas holidays with his guardian Sir Stephen who lives in an isolated, desolate country house. En route to Hawton Mere, Michael sees the ghostly figure of a woman as they grow closer to their destination but no one else shares his horrific vision. What ensues is a gothic ghost story which has echoes of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, M R James, The Turn of the Screw and other eerie stories which crank up the tension subtley but surely.

The result is a supremely spooky story which will keep the reader enthralled right up to the closing pages - highly recommended for all young readers and indeed those young at heart who appreciate their chills being served in a subtle, sophisticated way rather than having blood and gore thrown on their plate...

3.5 stars for me but 4 if it was for an 11 yr old...

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