Tuesday, June 14, 2011


by Carole Gill
Published by Vamplit Publishing

The House on Blackstone Moor is this year's must read for the beach...or for late at night as thunder and lightning rage outside your bedroom window. It is a deliciously dark journey set in Victorian England and begins with a sweet young lady, named Rose, being orphaned as a result of a murder/suicide at her home whilst she was out.

Assuming that our heroine has been driven out of her mind by grief, those in charge employ a Dickensian solution to her devastation and Rose is transferred to Marsh House--an asylum.

But she isn't there long. An employee, one Dr. Bannion, takes an interest in her case and after a time, Rose is transferred once again--this time to his home to rest and recuperate. While there, she meets the Dartons, friends of the doctor's, who offer Rose employment, which she accepts, as a nanny for their two children, moving the story into The Turn of the Screw territory.

From here things darken considerably at the house on Blackstone Moor. Though she adores the children, there is something strange about them, as there is with their mother and father. By the end of the book, the reader is embroiled in a battle of good and evil that was, though somewhat predictable, most enjoyable.

This story is told in the first person, which is generally a pretty hard sell, but author Carole Gill handles it well and makes the reader feel like Rose's confidant rather than a nameless person attending a lecture--the usual downfall of most first person pieces.

My single complaint about this book has absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Gill's writing. It has to do with the construction of the book itself. It would seem that those at Vamplit Publishing are not terribly familiar with printing signatures of books and the way in which they ought to be set up. For example, though the book is touted as a "Collector's Edition," it in no way reflects what those words imply. The cover looks somewhat unprofessional, with the book blurb on the back printed in what looks like 22 or 24 point type--rather too large to look like a book for an adult. The front cover isn't a grabber, either; and when you consider that the cover art is what makes potential readers pick up a book, this falls pretty flat. And, again, the longish title is set too large. Also the title page is numbered page 1; the rights page, page 2; the Acknowledgments page, page 3; a blank page, page 4, and the first page of the first chapter, page 5! And throughout the book, one generally expects to see the author's full name at the top of each left hand page, usually centered; and the book title at the top of each right hand page, also usually centered. In this book, neither author nor title appears on the interior pages at all
But please don't let this keep you from buying this book! There is something about The House on Blackstone Moor that will keep you reading and be sorry when you turn the final page.

However, rumor has it that a sequel is in the works…

Four stars.

Buy it here.

Reviewed by Carson Buckingham

Carson Buckingham is a writer living in the great American Southwest and she reviews horror/paranormal suspense novels.

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