19. Addison House by Clare McNally (1988)
(Originally Published as: Come Down Into Darkness) (1989)
Length: 298 pages
Started: 24 March 2015
Finished: 26 March 2015
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 March 2015
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed Ghost Light by the same author in the past.
For Doreen Addison, proprietor of an orphan’s home known as Addison House, it comes as a nasty surprise to her to hear that the building will soon be sold. She must find a suitable house for herself, her assistant and the six children she fosters, and she must find a home fast. Doreen’s search leads her to a beautiful, large house, secluded and rather inexpensive – just the right place for eight people to live.
Apparently, the house has been vacant for twenty years; and there were disturbingly dark stories of murder and suicide told about it. While Doreen was curious about all the rumors she had heard, and secretly wondered what had happened there so long ago, the house was still just what she was looking for. It was the perfect place to set up a children’s home.
Soon after Doreen and her young wards move into their new home, unusual things start to happen. At first it was just a crazy old man living in the woods and a dead cat found on the back porch. But then the children began seeing strange things; and hearing blood-curdling screams at night. Several of the children report seeing a beautiful woman dressed in black, and there is a terrible accident down in the cellar.
Doreen starts to believe that something just isn’t right about the house. However, her nightmare really begins as children mysteriously disappear. She soon finds herself confronting an ancient and malevolent power far beyond her understanding.
Only one thing can possibly save her and the children from utter destruction: she must discover the dark secret of the mysterious woman in black. Doreen alone must put an end to the repetitive grisly drama of obsessive love and hate…a tableau of twisted passions that has replayed for decades. Come home once and for all…if you dare.
I must say, that after reading Ghost Light by Clare McNally many years ago, I was eagerly looking forward to reading Addison House almost as soon as I received it. This book started out very strongly and I had such hope that it would continue to be a really great story. I was so disappointed.
To be perfectly honest, I thought this book ended up being almost too frightening. Don’t get me wrong, I really love reading old-fashioned horror; the creepier the better. Yet, Ms. McNally seemed to be writing the horror book to beat all horror books – one epic horror novel designed to scare the pants off every reader in the world. She seemed to take tiny bits of ten different types of horror and throw them together in one giant cauldron, then she stirred them up to see what came out.
It felt so much like ‘kitchen sink’-style horror writing to me, that I wasn’t quite sure what was supposed to frighten me and what wasn’t. At a certain point, I just stopped caring about the history of the haunting because it was just so intricate that it became thoroughly confusing to me. I had to give this book a C+!
C+! – (76-79%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight