*I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Bodley Head
Release Date: April 7th 2011
Summary (From Goodreads):
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .
When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries — before it’s too late for little Mimi.
This book intrigued me from the start, with its haunting cover and creepy premise. It sounded just like the kind of horror book I would love to read, a classic kind of monster mystery story with a really eerie setting.Unfortunately I didn’t get into this as much as I hoped. I think the main problem for me was it just felt too long. It is a big book – almost 500 pages – and I think this just made the pace too slow for me. Rather than building tension, I found it a bit irritating and really just wanted to get stuck into the creepy happenings. I felt it could have been a couple of hundred pages shorter and a much more exciting story.
The dual narrative took some getting used to as well. I’m normally fine with this, but I found the quick changes between points of view a little confusing. It happened multiple times within the same scenes, so sometimes I’d forget who was talking and get a bit confused.
The characters were all really great but a favourite was Auntie Ida. I loved how distant and frankly unlikable she was in the beginning, and how, very slowly, your opinion of her starts to change as you learn more about her. It’s almost insidious: I just stopped part way through a realised that at some point I’d started to like her.
The myth of Long Lankin was drip fed really well and the mystery wasn’t too obvious from the start. The nursery rhyme at the beginning was very sinister and Lankin himself made a great monster: equal parts gross and disturbing.
I did enjoy this book, but I felt it lacked a little in pace. For me, it would have worked better as a shorter story, but it was still an intriguing and creepy read.
If you enjoyed this, you might like The Devil’s Footsteps by E. E. Richardson