Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). Sometimes I have too many books to do a full-length review!

I haven’t read a ghost story in ages so what possessed (no pun intended) me to read Naomi’s Room by Jonathan Aycliffe on a rainy night, I don’t know. Here’s the blurb:

Naomi's RoomCharles and Laura are a young, happily married couple inhabiting the privileged world of Cambridge academia. Brimming with excitement, Charles sets off with his daughter Naomi on a Christmas Eve shopping trip to London. But, by the end of the day, all Charles and his wife have left are cups of tea and police sympathy. For Naomi, their beautiful, angelic only child, has disappeared. Days later her murdered body is discovered. But is she dead? In a howling, bumping story of past and present day hell, Jonathan Aycliffe’s haunting psychological masterpiece is guaranteed to make you sink to untold depths of teeth-shaking terror.

I’m surprised I slept after reading Naomi’s Room in one sitting last night. The tension was skillfully developed, building on the parents’ grief and then turning to something far more insidious. It certainly wasn’t the cool night air that sent shivers up my spine. Put together a haunted house, a handful of ghosts, a manipulator from beyond the grave and the emotions of parents dealing with the tragic loss of their child, and you have a horrifying story that is hard to put down, but equally hard not to put down! The open ending is unnerving. Freaky, but so well done.

Naomi’s Room is published by Constable & Robinson. My copy was courtesy of Allen & Unwin.