Thursday, 18 August 2011

Andrew Hammond - Crypt: The Gallows Curse - Book Review

book cover of 

The Gallows Curse 

 (Crypt, book 1)


Andrew Hammond

  • Category: Young Adult
  • Binding: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780755378210
  • Publication date: 01 Sep 2011 - Headline
Meet Jud Lester: Star agent with CRYPT, the Covert Response Youth Paranormal Team.
When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, CRYPT is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent.
Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet ... people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked - yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen.
Can Jud and Bex work out what has caused the spirits of these dangerous men to return to the streets of London before they wreak more death and 


If you're looking for a horror story that will scare the life out of you then this is the right book for you. The publishers have it down as a modern ghost-busting tale meets Young Bond/Cherub and I feel you can't really argue with that. As a result, it will mainly appeal to young teenage boys who like a lot of action to drive them through the pages.

The 'horror' element is very well written - it has many hair raising moments which would not be suitable for the younger reader. The action parts are timely delivered, as you would expect, and the imagination is at its best when explored within the horror scenes.

The paranormal attacks centered around London, in my opinion, make the book feel honest. Although, the vivid detail leaves the reader with a rather disturbing picture right until the very end of the story. 

There were some aspects of the book that I didn't fully appreciate:

  • The main characters, Jud Lester and Bex De Verre, felt a little bit too perfect and I thought the chemistry between them was too predictable. 
  • Also at times, I felt that the story was side tracked in order to explore Jud's emotional feelings. In other genres this might have worked, but within this genre the storyline really needed to focus more on the espionage part of the plot. I felt that this was somewhat lacking and left me needing more detail.

Nevertheless, I managed to overcome both of these aspects because of the very good story. 

What I really liked about this book were the gruesome scenes. One of the best horror moments, for me, was the underground tube station attack. It included some of the best writing that I have read this year. 

This is a very enjoyable and fast paced story. It has certainly got me excited for the next book "Traitor's Revenge," which looks like it will be visiting the city of York - a great setting for a future scary novel. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about this book....  


Anonymous said...

I loved it - I live in London and it was cool to have a clear idea of all of the places that the hauntings were taking place - will never think of Marble Arch or Hyde Park in the same way again. Also, extremely good horror scenes. Would make a good film. Liked the trailer.

Unknown said...

Love the review - completely agree with you about the gruesome bits. The horror parts were really well written - I loved the scene where the ghost comes through the wall, I could just see it perfectly!