Too Near The Dead: Helen Grant
Reviewed by Yvonne Miller
Too Near the Dead begins with a chilling chapter that depicts a woman awakening and finding she has been buried alive. The scene is ethereal and haunting. Is it a dream or is it reality? She is buried with her wedding dress on, and the claustrophobia and panic quickly settle in. It sets the tone for the entirety of the novel, it reminded me of The Haunting of Hill House, with the same masterful prose and eerie tension contained throughout.
Fen Munro is the protagonist of the story. We get insight into her backstory. A traumatic upbringing with hard parents. Her struggle to please them, to make them proud is an uphill battle, and nothing she will ever do will get her the love she so desperately requires. She finds success with a career in publishing and meets the love of her life, James Sinclair. They become engaged and decide to move away from the rat race that is London. They visit Perthshire together and fall in love with Barr Dubh House. The serenity, the isolation, just everything screams out to them.
Too Near the Dead is a supernatural story with human consequences. The book was beautiful with a harrowing backdrop. I felt like I was looking down onto the story. The author’s use of language added a realism element that was natural and not forced. A house with a bloody history. Dreams that bled into reality. The folklore about the Lavender Lady.
Fen and James are looking forward to spending their married life enjoying the Perthshire scenery. Soon things appear to be very wrong with their dream home. Strange noises, dreams that would compete with the movie, Inception. The visions of Lavender are all things that are slowly affecting Fen’s mental health and her quality of sleep. James slowly notices a significant change in his wife’s demeanour and questions the decision of purchasing Barr Dubh.
The storyline immediately demands your attention and keeps it until the very end. The events had me looking over the crook of my shoulder. Investigations begin and Fen discovers a chapel and graves. Just how does it all tie into the dreams that Fen has been experiencing.
The author excels at a creeping sense of unease, I couldn’t stop reading and wanted to find out what would happen next. The exquisite Perthshire countryside added to the atmospheric edge to an already claustrophobic story.
Cancel everything and read Too Near the Dead. This book just pulsates with originality. Fast-paced and intelligent. A masterful, twisty novel.
Too Near The Dead
Sometimes it’s terrifying, loving someone this much…
For Fen Munro and her fiancé James, it is a dream come true: an escape from London to a beautiful house in the stunning Perthshire countryside.
Barr Dubh house is modern, a building with no past at all. But someone walks the grounds, always dressed in lavender.
Under a lichenous stone in an abandoned graveyard, a hideous secret lies buried. And at night, Fen is tormented by horrifying dreams.
Someone wants Fen’s happiness, and nothing is going to stop them – not even death…
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
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