Naomi's Room - Joanthan Aycliffe

Genre: Horror
Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, four-year-old Naomi Hillenbrand disappears from her father's side in a crowded toy store; on Christmas Day, her mutilated body is discovered in a field. But a part of Naomi remains, unwilling or unable to leave this world. Ghostly photographs capture her playing with two other little girls dressed in Victorian garb while a sinister man in black them all. Charles Hillenbrand is tormented by grief. When sinister whispers in the night begin to taunt him, he tries to uncover the evil truth behind Naomi's death. But long-buried secrets await him and threaten to take him beyond the brink of sanity, to a place where he could lose his very soul.


Review: This... is a very dark book. Usually when I see reviews saying 'this is a dark/scary/disturbing book' I come away thinking 'ah yeah, I spose'. This is dark. In a lot of ways it is a classic haunted house story, featuring a lone person reminiscing about the tragic, fateful events leading to his current situation, and features creepy figures in photos, and a big old house with a history and freaky night-time happenings, apparently driven by the death of his daughter. While I didn't find this book particularly scary, I felt a little suffocated for my entire reading of it by the gloomy, depressing atmosphere which pervades. The whole thing feels like a lament. Which is exactly what you want from a book like this, it's the kind of book you close and think 'well thank the baby Jesus that is neither real, nor happening to me'. *Shudder*

This book isn't without flaws - there is quite a lot of exposition and quite a complicated backstory behind the hauntings, considering it's quite a short book, and there's a weird fact thrown in towards the end that really served no purpose at all which jarred my experience of the explanation a little. For some people, the ending was a massive flaw and it seems to have knocked a lot of readers' ratings down quite a lot. While I see where they're coming from, I'm not easily affected by even very cruel or graphic violence in novels (I'm not normal, I know, but hey, how many Saw films got made?) and I really, really was not expecting the novel to go that way. At all. I actually thought it was kind of great. Not necessarily the specific actions, but, the general concept.

All in all, an exceptionally dark and graphic book I probably wouldn't recommend to most people, but I enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5 

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