Monday, 23 August 2010

Review for The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

I had this book sent to me from Bloomsbury to review a week or so ago and I was immediately excited to read it. The cover intrigued me and the synopsis sounded right up my street so I moved it up to the top of my To Be Read pile and picked it up this weekend when it was rather miserable and rainy and I fancied a creepy historical fiction novel and I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Having never read anything by Michael Ford before I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this but I loved it! Right from the start you can tell that Ford is an excellent story teller. You’re immediately transported into 18th century London so much so that you can very nearly smell the stench of the streets of London wafting off the pages. The story starts when Abi an orphaned servant at the brooding and dark Greave Hall runs away. She’s desperate to escape the crutches of sadistic housekeeper Mrs Cotton and her harsh lifestyle there. Soon after escaping, Abi is caught and brought back to Greave Hall and things start going from bad to worse. The widowed master of the house Lord Greave is slipping slowly into madness, leaving Mrs Cotton his dead wife’s sister to take advantage of her position and adopt the role of Mistress of the house wearing her sisters jewellery and entertaining guests. As Mrs Cotton’s malice intensifies odd things start happening around the house. It seems as though a ghostly presence is trying to get Abi to leave Greave Hall for good and reveal that the house and the people within it are hiding terrible secrets, ones that may cost Abi her very life. I find that ghost stories can be very hit or miss. If you do it right it can be excellent if you do it wrong it can be disastrous and Michael Ford definitely gets it right with The Poisoned House. It reminded me very much of a sort of Rebecca for teens with a supernatural twist. It has all of the things that make Rebecca the wonderful classic that it is. The big brooding house, mystery, a malicious housekeeper, a grieving widower, suspense and death. I found myself turning the pages just as desperate to discover the secrets of the house as much as Abi. There’s always something exciting going on that makes you keep reading and reading. Michael Ford definitely has himself a new fan and I hope he writes more historical fiction in the future as he truly does excel at it. The only reason I couldn’t quiet give this the full top marks is because for me the book was a tad short. I would have liked more time with the characters and for them to have been a little more developed. If you’re looking for a suspenseful, gothic, quick read then your sure to love this. Thank you for sending it to me for review Bloomsbury it’s now become one of my favourite books of the year! 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****


  1. Another one to add to my wishlist! *sigh* That's one thwack over the head with a brolly on Wednesday...

  2. I thought this was really good too...though i was a bit disappointed with the ending which seemed very rushed. I agree it could have been longer!

  3. Oh my heck, I love the cover of this one! I've never heard of it, but now it's just another book I'll have to push to the top of my TBR pile :)

    Great review!

  4. Ellie- Yep, if we spot it tomorrow I may make you buy it ;)

    Rhiana- I’m glad you agree with me! I think wanting a book to be longer is more a complement than anything anyway.

    Melissa- Me too :) You really should get it. It’s the perfect book to snuggle up with especially with autumn on the way!

  5. I thought this was an OK read - the ending was all a bit too rushed for me. Mrs. Cotton so reminded me of Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca. Scary!

  6. This was something very different for me but a pleasent suprise great review


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