The Moor – Sam Haysom

40023909  4 Stars
„The Moor“ is an entertaining and easy-to-read scary novel. Four 13-year-old boys and one adult, the father of one of the boys, go on a weekend hike in the moor. On the first night, the father tells a scary story that causes nightmares among the boys. But even in reality, things are going somehow wrong. The first night, one of the boys disappears. First, the others assume that he just hiked forward. But then another of the boys disappears.

The story is told on multiple time levels and multiple POV. Horror stories are always tricky. The resolution is often a problem. Here, the author does not make the mistake of expanding his story too much or of searching for plausible explanations. He tells a straightforward horror story without much adornment and explanations. The atmosphere is dark all the time. The horror is real and present. „The Moor“ is a precise and gripping horror story which makes you flying through the pages.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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The Tall Man – Phoebe Locke

35442765
DNF. I really tried. But I’m just forcing myself to read this book. From the beginning I had problems finding into story. It starts very confusing and unfortunately it stays that way. Too many topics, too many people, the time levels change very often and unfortunately the tension remains on the track.

I’ve tried up to 56% but I’m breaking it off now. It’s just boring and lengthy. If I ended it, the review would only be at most 2 stars. In addition, I caught myself daydreaming instead of reading. Unfortunately, this book is not for me. Too bad, because the blurb sounded exactly to my liking.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Broken Girls – Simone St. James

cover132106-medium  5 Stars

There is something strange going on in a small town in Vermont. No one likes to go near the slowly decaying girls‘ boarding school. For decades, the school, which was intended for “troubled” girls, closed. It is said that there is a ghost. For the journalist Fiona, the place has particularly bad memories. 20 years ago her sister’s body was found there. She was beaten to death by her boyfriend and left there. He’s been in custody since then but Fiona does not let it go. Her family never recovered from the tragedy. Something gnaws at her and does not let her rest. Now the school has been sold and the new owner wants to reopen it. The corpse of a young girl who has been there for more than 60 years is found on the property. Fiona is fascinated by the strange coincidence that a murder has been committed on the property where her sister was found dead. She begins to investigate the story.

 

In the beginning I had a little trouble warming to Fiona. As much as I can understand her and her grief, I saw her problematic fixation on murder. It seemed to me she did not want to get over it. This murder defines her life and relationship with other people. The perpetrator was convicted and his guilt was never seriously debated. But even this fact did not help her to continue with her life reasonably. In the course of the story, I slowly warmed up for her. And that’s because of the writing talent of the author. The story is complex and does not involve confusion at any point. At a second time level, we get to know 4 young girls who lived in the boarding school. One of them is later murdered and she is the corpse found many years later.

 

The book is a mixture of ghost story, thriller, historical novel and family drama. It keeps the balance surprisingly good and none of the storylines falls flat. Many themes are interwoven into a complex story. The book is never boring and I could hardly put it down.  In fact, it is a very sad story. „The Broken Girls“ is an atmospheric, very well-written book that confidently trades its various levels of action. Thank you, Simone St. James, this was a high-class entertainment.

 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Retreat – Mark Edwards

36156752  5 Stars

„The Retreat“ is an atmospheric mix of thriller and ghost story.

Lucas is a bit at a loss after the death of his girlfriend and his one hit wonder as a writer. He struggels with his next book and so he decides to spend some time in a writers retreat. It is run by a young widow, Julia. Her husband drowned two years ago trying to save their daughter. The daughter disappeared, a body was never found. Julia is sure she is still alive and out there somewhere. Lucas is soon fascinated by the story of the disappearance of the girl. Something is very odd about it. There was another girl who went missing 35 years ago. The whole village in rural Wales seems to believe in a mythical figure that demands children as an offering.

Lucas is an incredibly likeable figure. His curiosity is aroused by the strange things that suddenly happen in the house. He also takes an interest in Julia’s tragic fate and soon feels attracted to her.

The book impressed me with its gloomy atmosphere and its life-like figures. It’s suspenseful and a bit scary. I like Mark Edward’s books very much. This was my third of him and certainly not my last one.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mark Wesolowski – Hydra

35960886  3 Stars

I am a bit torn with this book.

I just start with what I liked:
This book is creepy as hell. I liked the dark atmosphere and all that stuff about ghost rituals. I also enjoyed again the structure of the book. It is told like a podcast which was already the case in his first book.

What I did not like:
As much as I think this kind of written podcast is a nice idea but for me this time it did not work. I did not get the point of the story. Listening to a podcast while I was on holiday I found this written one comparing to the real one quite boring. The people Scott King interviews are chatty until they should get to the point about Arla. Then they stop talking. It gets only interesting when they talk about this dark online stuff. But to my great disappointment this stories felt just like filling material, to make the story more interesting as it is. It all stayed at the surface. Ghost rituals are mentioned but I never got anywhere.

Maybe my expectations were too high but I never really got into the story. For me it wasn’t a rounded story. We never got to the point who Arla was and why she did what she did. Well, I think we actually do know but Scott King makes a fuss about it and wants it to be more. The story also dragged a bit. There were parts when it was really gripping but most of the time the author took the tension out of the story. The story just went on in circles.
Maybe I missed something because I am clearly in the minority here. I liked the dark things that were mentioned and what it can do to people. But they did not really fit smoothly into the story. They felt forced for me and sometimes just like a list of urban legends and not very well woven into the story.

The Ascent – Der Aufstieg – Ronald Malfi

34388332  4 Sterne

Ich bin ein großer Fan von Büchern, die sich mit Bergsteigen beschäftigen. Ganz besonders, wenn es um die Gegend rund um den Mt. Everest geht. Dieses Buch passte somit genau in mein Beuteschema.

Zuerst geht es ganz geruhsam zu. Wir lernen Tim kennen. Er ist – oder war – Bildhauer. Seine Frau hat ihn vor einiger Zeit verlassen, weil er seiner Arbeit immer den Vorzug gab. Kurz nach ihrer Trennung kam Hannah mit ihrem neuen Partner bei einem Unfall ums Leben. Die Trennung und besonders Hannahs Tod haben Tim völlig aus der Bahn geworfen. Er verliert sich in Extremsportarten und trinkt exzessiv. Bei einer leichtsinnigen Höhlenkletterei kommt er beinahe ums Leben. Als er so in dieser Höhle lag und dachte, er müsste sterben, glaubte er, Hannahs Geist zu sehen. Sie gab ihm Kraft in dieser Situation und half ihm, zu überleben. Zumindest glaubte er das in dem Moment. Während er seine Verletzung auskuriert und säuft, glaubt er immer wieder Hannahs Geist aus den Augenwinkeln zu sehen. Tim fürchtet, dass er seinen Verstand verliert. Da kommt ihm das Angebot eines alten Freundes von Hannah gerade recht. Andrew stellt gerade eine kleine Truppe Kletterer zusammen, mit denen er das geheimnisvolle Tal der Seelen in Nepal aufsuchen will, das noch keiner außer den Einheimischen betreten haben soll.

Die Stimmung des Buches ist von vorne herein sehr düster. Tim suhlt sich in Selbstmitleid und Alkohol. Nach und nach in Rückblenden erfahren wir, wie er Hannah kennenlernte und wie sie sich auseinanderlebten. Die Hauptstory ist aber der Trip zum sagenumwobenen Tal der Seelen. Die Tour steht unter keinem guten Stern. Die Truppe besteht aus lauter Alphamännchen und muss sich erst zusammenraufen. Schon bald stoßen sie auf Schwierigkeiten, der Aufstieg ist gefährlich und dann gibt es den ersten Toten.

Das Buch wird vom Verlag als Thriller beworben. Das war mir vor dem Lesen gar nicht bewusst. Für mich war es über weite Teile aber eher eine Abenteuergeschichte mit düsterem Hintergrund und leicht paranormalen Anklängen, die aber auch dem Zustand der Hauptfigur zugeschrieben werden können. Die Thrillerelemente kommen erst zum Schluss zum Vorschein. Da wird es dann sogar sehr spannend. Da ich zu Beginn nicht wusste, dass es ein Thriller sein sollte, habe ich auch nichts vermisst. Für mich war es aber auch so sehr spannend. Mir hat der Schreibstil sehr gut gefallen. Das Buch liest sich flüssig und die Seiten flogen nur so dahin. Ich bin, wie ich schon sagte, ein williges Opfer für derartige Storys um masochistische Bergsteiger. Der leicht mystisch-mysteriöse Touch hat mir auch sehr gut gefallen. Er ist gut eingebettet in die Story.

Dem Autor ist ein homogener Mix aus Mystery, Thriller und psychologischer Horrorstory gelungen. Für mich war „Der Aufstieg“ kurzweilige und spannende Unterhaltung.

Ich habe das Buch von Netgalley.de und dem Luzifer-Verlag zur Verfügung gestellt bekommen. Dafür möchte ich mich ganz herzlich bedanken.

The White Road – Sarah Lotz

51l297qngol-_sx326_bo1204203200_ 4 Stars

I absolute loved this one! It is creepy as hell and very atmospheric. I was hooked from page one. I would never ever climb into a closed cave and I would definitely never try to climb Mount Everest. But I love to read about it and it always baffles me what people are willing to suffer to do so.

I also liked the Simon who is a kind of shady character. But I liked that. I did not know about the Third Man Factor and I googled a lot about it. Very creepy.  The book dragged a bit after Simon returned from the mountain while we see his mental downfall. The end gave me goosebumps.

I enjoyed this book very much. I loved Sarah Lotz’ “The Three”. It was one of my reading highlights. “Day Four” was a bit disappointing but maybe just because “The Three” was so brilliant. There is always a supernatural effect in her books but I liked that this time she approached it in a different way and made it not so clear.

I can’t wait for her next book!