Friday, 10 August 2018

Book Review: Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

On a Christmas Eve shopping trip to London, Naomi becomes separated from her dad, Charles. Days later her murdered and mutilated body is discovered. But is she really dead?

"There was something on the carpet, just outside the old nursery door, Naomi's door. A length of blue ribbon. I didn't touch it, of course. It might still have been warm."

It had been a while since I had read a REALLY good horror book - and this one delivers. Ages and ages ago this was recommended to me by someone on bookstagram, they said it was the scariest book they'd ever read - so, of course, this piqued my interest. I looked it up on amazon and saw that the author was from Belfast, and this was the sign I needed to order it ASAP (Belfast is quite local to me). My overriding thought finishing this book was - WHY isn't Jonathan Aycliffe better known?!

The first half of Naomi's Room was downright chilling. Shivers running down your spine. Sleeping with the lights on. Regretting the fact that you have an attic right above your bedroom and considering moving house... One night before bed I had to look at photos of Barney - the cutest doggo ever - before going to sleep to rid my brain of these terrible unnerving thoughts. Another night I found myself looking at funny memes and tweets on Buzzfeed to calm myself down! As someone who reads and watches a lot of horror, that should tell you all you need to know about this one.

There are certain tropes and traits that tick my horror boxes: whispers in a dark room, footsteps upstairs, a figure at the side of your bed, terrifying imagery, an increasing sense of dread, an intriguing backstory... and this one ticks all of them! As I said before, the first half is particularly creepy and unsettling, but then it really ramps things up and the second half is just downright fucking disturbing. And I really enjoyed that aspect - but perhaps it is not for everyone.

Aycliffe's writing was simple but effective, it would be really easy to just binge this book in a sitting or two. At the start in particular he would drop little hints or tidbits that forced you to keep reading and find out what the hell happened here! My only minor nitpick is the role of the photographer who seeks to help Naomi's parents work out what is going on in this house. I'm sorry, but... WHY. Why would you do this? What was happening was fucking terrifying - he owes nothing to these people. I would be outta there. Perhaps a little unbelievable for me, personally!!

The less I say about this one, the better, just pick up a copy and prepare yourself for some sleepless nights!

4 stars.


1 comment :

  1. I could use a ggood horror story! I'll look this one up!


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