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The House Of A Hundred Whispers
by Graham Masterton
Review

Tea, flowers and an open book on a table in the garden - Used to feature my book reviews

My thanks go out to the lovely teams at publisher Head Of Zeus, and Netgalley, for my complimentary review copy of this book

THE HOUSE OF A HUNDRED WHISPERS

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham MastertonDartmoor, with its mists, bleak winter weather and overwhelming sense of isolation, is the perfect place to build a prison. It’s not a place many would choose to live – yet the Governor of Dartmoor Prison did just that.

When Herbert Russell retired, he bought All Hallow’s Hall – a rambling Tudor mansion on the edge of the moor, and lived there all his life. Now he’s dead, and his estranged family are set to inherit his estate.

But when the dead man’s family come to stay, the atmosphere of the moors seems to drift into every room. Floorboards creak, secret passageways echo, and wind whistles in the house’s famous priest hole.

And then, on the morning the family decide to leave All Hallow’s Hall once and for all, their young son Timmy goes missing…

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

GRAHAM MASTERTON

Image of author Graham MastertonGraham Masterton was born in Edinburgh in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless.

After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British men’s magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles which eventually became Burroughs’ novel The Wild Boys.

At the age of 24, Graham was appointed executive editor of both Penthouse and Penthouse Forum magazines. He is a regular contributor to CosmopolitanMen’s HealthWomanWoman’s Own and other mass-market self-improvement magazines.

Graham has published more than thirty-five horror novels and four short story collections, although altogether he has written more than a hundred novels ranging from thrillers to disaster novels, from historical sagas to horror novels for children. He is an Edgar Award and Bram Stoker Award-winner and a World Fantasy Award-nominee. In 2019 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers’ Association. Graham’s novels often contain visceral sex and horror.

In addition to his novels Graham has also written a number of sex instruction books, including How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed and Wild Sex for New Lovers

Following the death of his late wife, Graham has relocated from their Gothic mansion in Cork, Ireland and is currently living in Surrey.

Keep up to date with Graham’s latest news on his website

Follow Graham on Twitter

Connect with Graham on Facebook

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

FIRST LINES 

CHAPTER ONE

“As he reached the top of the staircase, Herbert heard a door opening. He paused, one hand on the newel post, listening intently. The full moon was shining so brightly through the diamond-patterned windows that there had been no need for him to switch on the landing light”

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE BOOK

“One smile is more effective than a thousand shouts”

.

“I’ve lived here all my life and it’s a fascinating part of the world. There are so many legends and fairy stories about it – spooks and demons and witches. That’s natural, I suppose, considering the landscape. You can go out on a foggy morning and imagine that you’re the only human being in the world, but you can hear weird animal noises quite close by and see shadows flitting around, behind the fog”

.

“It’s my destiny. Sometimes you’re confronted with things in your life and you realise that you have to deal with them. You don’t have a choice, because that’s what you were born for”

.

“There are times in our lives, Rob, when all of us have to face up to what we fear the most”

.

“He was no longer an orphan, but finding out who his real father was made him feel as if he were standing naked in an icy wind, at night, with no shelter – a wind that would never stop blowing until the day he died”

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

REVIEW

“We don’t want to live like this, but we don’t want to die”

Wow! I haven’t read a Graham Masterton book for many years and I had forgotten just how good his horror stories were and how they had the power to scare me witless!

He definitely hasn’t lost his touch and wields an experienced hand at penning a gripping, unconventional and unique plot, set in real life places which I could relate to, and which kept me engaged from the very first page to that final word .. or is it the final word in this terrifying journey? .. I’ll let you decide that for yourself, although I have a really bad feeling about everything!

Executed with total authority and confidence, Graham is totally in control of this complex, intense story from start to finish, cranking up the tension at just the right time to create an atmosphere of constant fear and suspense. Skilled in the imagery of words, Graham also evokes the sheer darkness and brooding of the Dartmoor landscape in the terrible weather conditions which prevail throughout the course of events, and believe me, this just isn’t the place you would want to be, let alone stuck in a remote crumbling heap of a house, which affords no protection, only engenders fear and a desperate longing to escape, but from what and to where?

This intense, multi-layered, well constructed story has a core plot which is supported by many other strands that play out in the background, so you really need to be on your toes to keep up with everything, until they are expertly and seamlessly drawn together in the heart-in-mouth, do or die, finale.

Graham only hints at this mind numbing storyline, so, to avoid giving away any major ‘spoilers’, I have searched for the best way to give you the ‘heads up’ about events, here goes! .. Take a ‘mash-up’ of Carrie, The Exorcist and Poltergeist; throw in some 17th century religious wars and a dollop of 20th century fraud and kidnapping; stir in a 21st century witch, wizard and priest; season liberally with folklore, myth and legend; and top off with a family driven mad and at the end of its collective tether, who are prepared to go to any lengths to break the spell .. Oh! and somewhere along the way, work out the conundrum of exactly how a ‘ghost’ has sex with a human, who then bears their child!! .. and voila there you have it!  Meanwhile, the body count mounts at an alarming rate and is recorded in all too vivid colour and detail, definitely not for the squeamish, or just before a meal!

The storyline was quite equally character and plot driven, although what began as a small cast, quickly grew into a sprawling profusion of humanity, not all of it palatable or pleasant and all seemingly with their own agendas. Even the instigator of the events which drew everyone and everything together in the first place, sounded most disagreeable and unlikable – and he was already dead! Despite the fact they were well drawn and defined by the author, nothing really drew me to any one of these multi-faceted and complex characters in particular and there was little connection or empathy with their collective plight, although I may not have relished being in Rob’s shoes, and might even have felt a little sorry for him, after he made a discovery which I rather think he wished he hadn’t!

Definitely one to be read in daylight hours and not if you are on your own in the house!

Image of author Graham Masterton

A complimentary download of this book for review purposes, was made available by Head Of Zeus and supplied by NetGalley

Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article which promotes this book or its author.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 4 out of 5 stars!

 

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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4 comments
  • As you know, this one currently resides in my Kindle. I doubt I can wait until October (the best month for spookiness), so perhaps I can read it on a (couple of) cold, dark winter night(s) in the months ahead!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I really haven’t read a good horror story for many years now, although as a teenager, they used to be my staple reading diet, along with the old ‘Hammer House Of Horror’ films, which used to be on late night Friday television.

      These days I must be getting a bit more squeamish, as I seldom even notice the horror films on TV listings, let alone schedule to watch them, and horror books seldom hit my reading radar!

      With no disrespect to Graham, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, but this storyline must have taken a very twisted mind to concoct and every time I thought that things couldn’t get any worse – they did!

      My ‘mash-up’ analogy was really no exaggeration and I would love it if you let me know what you think when you have had the chance to read it. Please try not to wait until Halloween to put it on your schedule, I don’t think you will be disappointed 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Nikki,

      There were some really interesting historical facts included about certain aspects of this storyline, but basically it was just one scare after the other and the piece I wrote towards the end of the review about Rob’s little ‘surprise’ discovery, left me speechless, and that’s saying something!

      I’m not sure whether 2021 is going to be a whole lot better than 2020, but at least there is some light at the end of the tunnel, which is all good.

      I wish you and yours Very Best Wishes for 2021 and Stay Safe 🙂 Xx

Written by Yvonne

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