Monday, 16 March 2009

Perils and Dangers of this Night by Stephen Gregory

A bleak mid-winter. An icy wind blows through the corridors of Foxwood Manor, a boys' prep-school deep in the woodlands of Dorset. The boys have gone home at the end of the Christmas term and the old house is left to the headmaster, Dr Kemp, his wife, and Alan Scott, a boy abandoned by his mother. As the snow falls heavily on the house and the surrounding woods, a story of revenge and retribution unfolds: a web of half-truths and innuendo's woven into a bizarre game of hide-and-seek through the corridors and dormitories of the school. "The Perils and Dangers of this Night" is a compelling story of unfolding horror as a small boy undergoes a rite of passage, seeking redemption from his haunted past.
If you like horror stories, you're going to love this. Even if you don't like horror stories, you're going to love this.
Mr Stephen Gregory's novel is the first horror story I've ever read cover to cover. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I started reading it early one morning and I couldn't put it down. I read it page after page until I finished it with only the odd break here and there to attend to family matters.
I hadn't realized that something so terrible and disturbing could be written so beautifully. You can see that Gregory loves language. He plays with it. I enjoyed the way he developed the characters and described the setting. It created a vivid dream-like world that set me on edge.
This story is very interesting and it slowly sneeks up on you. It lulls you into a dream and carries you along though all the while you know that in the end it is going to get nasty. My favourite character was an old dog. Gregory manages to describe the mutt in a way that reminded me of so many old hounds I've known over the years. I became quite attached to him. You know how that goes, right?
The ending is good horror story nastiness. You'll hate it, but you'll find you just can't stop reading... kind of like when you can't help turning your head to see a traffic accident on the side of the road.
Anyway, I can't recommend it to young readers because of the adult content in it. However, for the mature young adult readers it should be fine. Stick with it. I think you might just enjoy this one.
BTW, I love the design of the book. For a paperback, it is incredible. I love the colours and the cool photo on the cover. I love the print design with the dominant title and the author's name sweeping across the bottom of the book. Great stuff! I'm sure Gregory was pleased with the publisher's treatment.
4.5/5 Stars

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