Daily Archives: November 8, 2011

*Review* The Poisoned House – Michael Ford


The Poisoned House

Michael Ford

319 pages

ISBN: 9780807565896

Read 11-8-11

The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lived below stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London.  Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs. Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper.  The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs. Cotton by pretending the house is haunted. 


So when a real ghost makes an appearance – that of her beloved mother- no one is more surprised than Abi.  But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi’s already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof.  With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it’s up to Abi to nurse him back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst.  As the chilling truth dawns, Abi’s world is turned upside down.

With this book, I was hoping for something scary that might keep me from sleeping soundly since I am trying my best to find a book to scare the bejeezus out of me, unfortunately, that was not the case with this book.  Though it was an OK, mostly enjoyable read, it wasn’t what I wanted.  The book was pretty slow and it wasn’t scary at all.  The main point of the book wasn’t even the ghost, it was more of what happened to her, and she seldom showed up.
The book was well-written and the author did well portraying the more formal language of the older days of London.  I also thought the imagery the author created was very strong, but I really would have liked creepier ghost scenes.  If I had been able to sit and read it (work got in the way), I would have zoomed right through this book even though it was a slower story.
Another unfortunate negative for this book is that it was very predictable.  One of the major secrets of the book I guessed within the first few pages I read.  I hate to say that the book was a letdown for what I was trying to find, but it just didn’t satisfy what I was looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a mostly enjoyable read, but it wasn’t overly so.

Predictable, slow, not so creepy, well-written, good imagery.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult