The Haunting Of Hacket House: Astrid Addams
Reviewed By Steve Stred
A few years back I read a book by Addams called ‘The Haunting of Hope House.’ In my review, I was both a total knob and brutal in my criticism (which is incredibly shameful when I look back at it) but also lamented the missed opportunity. Addams had the basis for one of the best haunted house stories I’d read in some time and I felt like it had been squandered.
KR: You can read the Kendall Review for The Haunting of Hope House HERE
Recently, Astrid reached out and asked if I’d be keen to review her newest release ‘The Haunting of Hacket House.’ The message conveyed that they’d worked really hard to release something that showed how much they’d improved their craft and I was hooked.
I will say this – the first copy I received was missing every single letter L. I chatted with Astrid and a new copy was sent and the glitch was gone! My initial unease replaced with a brutal prologue in no time at all.
What I liked: ‘The Haunting of Hacket House‘ follows a familiar narrative in that our main character Jane receives an offer to work in Hacket House. It is located in a village that was hard to find on a map and even harder to travel to. GPS and Wifi are spotty and once there Addams wastes no time giving us odd characters within a creepy setting.
One thing I will absolutely applaud here, is much like ‘… Hope House,’ Astrid is still willing to take risks and give us brutality when needed. There is no playing it safe and the story is elevated because of that.
What I didn’t like: I think for me, the beginning where we first start to meet the other workers in the house was a bit jumbled. The other workers have experience with the setting but do little to initiate or introduce Jane to the world she’s now entered. It’s hard to say much and stay spoiler-free.
Why you should buy this: Where I felt ‘The Haunting of Hope House‘ fell apart, Addams has shown that they can put it all together and ‘… Hacket House’ delivered on a previous promise. I really enjoyed this one and found Addams delivering some really eerie and creepy moments. Very happy that I took this one on and so happy to see Astrid has released such a great novel.
The Haunting Of Hacket House
“Here in the red walls of Hacket House, listening to the constant murmurs of the clocks and Mr Smithson’s screams, reason not only felt dead, but extinct.”
Some places don’t let go….
Offered a lucrative job at the mysterious Hacket House, Jane agrees to travel across country to live at the mansion. After all, a fresh start is just what she needs. Besides, the remote house is a long way from the past she is still running from.
Arriving at her new home, she finds a strange red house set in a wood of red, gnarled trees. The same trees used to build the house and the grandfather clocks that haunt every room and dark corridor.
Jane quickly realises that there is something very wrong at Hacket House and the village of Bramley.
Why is there a graveyard in the garden of Hacket House? Who are the people in hoods who haunt the house at night? What are they doing with the old man in the bed? Why is somebody moving the grandfather clocks? Who is the strange woman no one will admit exists? What are the shadows that scoot across the walls like cockroaches? Who is Erazmus Nark whose grave nothing will touch?
As the sinister behaviour of the village escalates and her own past closes in around her, Jane learns that just because something is dead, doesn’t mean that it’s gone.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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