Wednesday, 29 October 2014
The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory
Publication date: 29 October
Published by Carina UK
Purchase from Amazon here
This is the story of a girl who didn’t want to live…
Carrie Anne is desperately unhappy. Tangled in a web of abuse, she seeks solace in the cemetery that backs onto her garden. But something creeps between the gravestones. Carrie Anne is not alone…
…and a boy who cannot die.
The cemetery is home to a boy. He has guarded these forgotten bones since meeting a gruesome end two hundred years ago. Neither dead nor alive, he has been watching for a long time. And now, he finally has the visitor he’s been waiting for…
I love horror / creepy books, and with Halloween approaching it seemed the perfect time to read The Boy in the Cemetery. Firstly I loved the cover which totally drew me in. It has an eerie look about it, but also reminded me a bit of a Tim Burton film. Then when I read the synopsis, I was ready to download and get started.
We are initially transported back in time to meet 'the boy' who lived in London many years ago. There is talk of the consumption which once it took hold inevitably led to your death. The boy lives a life of poverty and has to watch his Mum get ill and die from the consumption. His father, a crook, takes care of the boy and teaches him to rob graves in the local cemetery to try and earn money. His father is caught and attacked and also meets his death. Left to fend for himself the boy returns to the cemetery to try and get some stuff to make money. Whilst there he meets an untimely end at the hands of a gruesome man who is already dead.
From then on we meet Carrie Anne whose family are also dysfunctional. Her father is not a decent man, and her mother is a coward. Carrie Anne is very unhappy and we learn just how unhappy when she tries to take her own life. They move house to a new area to start over. This house backs on to the cemetery and Carrie Anne becomes fascinated.
We see Carrie Anne start at a new school and quickly becomes the victim of bullies. In her haste to escape she runs to seek solace in the cemetery, the bullies follow and attack her. However the boy comes to her rescue and they strike up a friendship.
Together Carrie Anne and the boy seek retribution for the things Carrie Anne has suffered during her life. This involves the police investigating the goings on, whilst Carrie Anne pretends not to remember in order to protect the boy. I don't want to tell you any more or I will give away the ending!!
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. When I started reading I realised it isn't the usual form of horror I tend to read, as there was less gore and more of a developing storyline. However, as the book went on the gore began (which I love), but there was also a strong plot that added another dimension to my reading.
I really felt for Carrie Anne. She had suffered some horrible things in her life at the hands of her father and he always seemed to get away with it. When she started being bullied at the new school I hated it. I was actually pleased to see the boy look out for her, even if it does up the gore levels!!!
I also liked the way the character of the boy was written. I got a real sense for who he was at the start of the book and whilst he is dead and carries out some horrible attacks, I couldn't bring myself to dislike him or wish him ill.
From a horror perspective the last third of the book was when it all comes together. Some of the descriptions are pretty graphic, and I built up a strong image of being in the cemetery, or at the house when some of the action is taking place.
The author has written this book in a clever manner, combining a strong story with just enough action and death. The book just flowed with the characters and I definitely built up allegiances with the 'goodies' versus the 'baddies'. I really enjoyed the ending and can see another book featuring Carrie Anne following in the future.
A well written Halloween read with a strong storyline and some macabre scenes for lovers of death and gore.
Thank you to Carina for providing a copy in return for an honest review.