Thursday, 7 July 2011
Review: Long Lankin - Lindsey Barraclough
When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Bryers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome, and are desperate to go back to London. But Auntie Ida's life was devastated the last time two young girls were at Guerdon Hall, and now her nieces' arrival has re awoken an evil that has lain waiting for years.
A haunting voice in an empty room ... A strange, scarred man lurking in the graveyard ... A mysterious warning, scrawled on the walls of the abandoned church . . . Along with Roger and Peter, two young village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries - before it is too late for Mimi.
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When Cora and her sister Mimi are sent from their home in London to stay with their aunt in an isolated country village they aren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Their aunt makes it quite clear that she doesn't want them there and she is determined to send them back in London as quickly as possible. Although the girls make friends with local children Roger and Pete they are confused by their aunt's attitude towards them. The longer their visit lasts the more strange things they notice happening around the house and it soon becomes clear that someone - or something - is after Mimi. Can Cora and her new friends figure out what is going on before it is too late?
I used to read a lot of horror stories as a teenager but I have to admit that this is a genre I read much less of now I'm older. I thoroughly enjoyed Long Lankin but I'm glad I was careful to read it in the daylight as I'm sure it would have given me nightmares otherwise! Long Lankin is an impressive debut from Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old English folk tale that dates back several centuries. Set in the 1950's the author has done a fantastic job of capturing post war Britain and I was completely drawn into Cora & Mimi's world.
Each of the main characters are well written, I absolutely loved Cora and Roger and enjoyed reading parts of the story from each of their perspectives. Along with Mimi and Pete they all felt so real to me that I often found myself wanting to reach into the book and comfort them. It took a long time for Aunt Ida to grow on me but as you find out more about her history you begin to understand why she acts the way she does. The supernatural side of the story is a little slow getting started but the time is spent building a vivid picture of the village, the church and graveyard so it is almost like watching a film instead of reading. The imagery is so clear that when we discover more about Long Lankin I was completely creeped out and had to put the book down a couple of times so I could build up the courage to keep reading.
Long Lankin really is a fantastic debut and one that should put Lindsey Barraclough on your authors to watch list. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next but if it's anywhere near as creepy as this one I'll be sticking to my daylight reading!
Source: Received from RHCB in exchange for an honest review
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