Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cliff McNish - Hunting Ground - Book Review

book cover of 

The Hunting Ground 

by

Cliff McNish
                             

  • Pages - 314
  • Publisher - Orion Children's
  • Date - 5 May 2011
  • Age 13+
When Elliott and his brother, Ben, move into the old and crumbling Glebe House they don't expect to find themselves sharing it with ghosts. But soon sinister events are unfolding. An old diary reveals glimpses of the mansion's past - and of a terrible tragedy. A mysterious woman talks to the dead. And evil lurks in the East Wing - a hideous labyrinth of passageways devised by a truly twisted mind. Can Elliott and his family escape the clutches of Glebe House? Or will they be trapped in the maze of corridors, forever hunted by the dead?


I'm going to count to one hundred, I'm coming after you.........
I'm going to count to one hundred and I'm going to find you....
I'm going to count to one hundred and hunt you down..... 
Let the hunt commence......


In the long distant past, I have read a number of books by this author but unfortunately, I have not really had much to say about them. However, this book, although well written like all the other books really connected with me. The plot is written in the style of an old-fashioned ghost tale. The more you read, the more the author inflicts a dark and chilling sinister world that will leave you chilled to the bone.


The book is delivered in a direct and no nonsense approach. It's very intense - I felt myself being sucked into the vortex of the twisted past of Glebe House and its former owner, Vincent Cullayn. Vincent, is like no other conventional ghost. He is drawn to this world by his desire for the hunt and the final kill of his victims. He feeds off their fear as this enables him to take on a more solid-like appearance. He receives help from a young ghost called Eve, who is particularly scary, as she entices Ben and Elliott into the East Wing - a maze of corridors, scary paintings and a great aura of the past.


I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the author tied up the different elements of the story, and yet continued to lead you further into the twisted realms of the plot. Another aspect that worked really well for me, were the diary extracts, which were revealed in small sharp bursts from the perspective of Theo, who leads you through the mystery of the story. He also brings both the past and the present together.


Perhaps the only small gripe that I have, about the book, is the ending. I felt that this did not fit the complex story as it was too straight forward. Nevertheless, I found the book to be a very enjoyable and captivating read. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you like to be scared to death ..... Beware, you have been warned.
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