Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #140 - The Custodian Of Marvels

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

The Custodian Of Marvels (Fall Of The Gas-Lit Empire #3) - Rod Duncan
ISBN - 9780857665010
Publisher - Angry Robot
Release date - February 4 2016

*Proceed with caution if you have not read the first two books in the trilogy*

You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.

Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.

Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume of the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

One of my favorite series from Angry Robot! And look at that cover! Nothing to say except I can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #139 - Medusa's Web

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Medusa's Web - Tim Powers
ISBN - 9780062262455
Publisher - William Morrow
Release date - January 19 2016
Find - Goodreads 

From the award-winning author of Hide Me Among the Graves, Last Call, Declare, and Three Days to Never, a phantasmagoric, thrilling, mind-bending tale of speculative fiction in which one man must uncover occult secrets of 1920s Hollywood to save his family.

In the wake of their Aunt Amity’s suicide, Scott and Madeline Madden are summoned to Caveat, the eerie, decaying mansion in the Hollywood hills in which they were raised. But their decadent and reclusive cousins, the malicious wheelchair-bound Claimayne and his sister, Ariel, do not welcome Scott and Madeline’s return to the childhood home they once shared. While Scott desperately wants to go back to their shabby South-of-Sunset lives, he cannot pry his sister away from this haunted “House of Usher in the Hollywood Hills” that is a conduit for the supernatural.

Decorated by bits salvaged from old hotels and movie sets, Caveat hides a dark family secret that stretches back to the golden days of Rudolph Valentino and the silent film stars. A collection of hypnotic eight-limbed abstract images inked on paper allows the Maddens to briefly fragment and flatten time - to transport themselves into the past and future in visions that are both puzzling and terrifying. Though their cousins know little about these ancient “spiders” which provoke unpredictable temporal dislocations, Ariel and Claimayne have been using for years - an addiction that has brought Claimayne to the brink of selfish destruction.

As Madeline falls more completely under Caveat’s spell, Scott discovers that to protect her, he must use the perilous spiders himself. But will he unravel the mystery of the Madden family’s past and finally free them. . . or be pulled deeper into their deadly web?

I'm a huge fan of Tim Powers, The Anubis Gates and The Drawing of the Dark are just two of his books that I love. Medusa's Web sounds delightfully creepy and it's a shame it's not out until January as it would be a perfect Halloween read. It is out a couple of days before my birthday though so an excellent excuse to buy a copy!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Spooky Sunday #4 - The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death

Welcome to Spooky Sunday, a new feature on Bookish Outsider that will run until Halloween! This week I had a Woman In Black marathon, the first movie for the third or fourth time and the second for the first time.

I'm a huge fan of The Woman In Black by Susan Hill, I've read the book a dozen or more times and I've seen the fantastically creepy stage show. I was a bit hesitant about the movie, mainly because of Daniel Radcliffe and his Harry Potter baggage, but I have to say I was suitably impressed. I watched it on the big screen, mostly because I thought it would have a better impact that way and although I didn't jump I did have shivers down my back at certain points!

Sadly, this wasn't the case with The Woman In Black: Angel of Death. I read the book, by Martyn Waites, back in January 2014 after hearing that there was going to be a (fully authorized, by Susan Hill, sequel) and was intrigued to see how they were going to do it. Despite an excellent cast including Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox and Helen McCrory, this movie fell flat for me. This time it's 40 years after the original event and England is being heavily bombed. A group of evacuee children and their teachers are moved to Eel Marsh House to get them out of the city and along the way they meet a handsome RAF officer stationed near said house. This is where Angel of Death lost its appeal for me. Aside from throwing in a hint of romance(?) the house loses its terrifying aspect when there's such a large group of people. One of the key points of the original was the isolation that Arthur Kipps felt, in the house by himself and cut off by the tide.

If you loved the first movie don't watch Angel of Death expecting the same level of chills and if you haven't watched the first movie make sure to watch it before this one otherwise you may be severely disappointed.

This has been an R.I.P. X production.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Spooktacular 2015 Giveaway!

Welcome to the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not A Writer! The hop runs from now through to midnight on October 31 2015. The spooktacular prize up for grabs is a spooky, creepy book of your choice (either YA or Adult), up to the value of $15, from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here.

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There are lots of blogs taking part in the Spooktacular hop so check out the list below for more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Waiting On Wednesday #138 - Down Station

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Down Station - Simon Morden
ISBN - 9781473211452
Publisher - Gollancz
Release date - February 18 2016

A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...and find themselves on a wild shore backed by cliffs and rolling grassland. The way back is blocked. Making their way inland they meet a man dressed in a wolf's cloak and with wolves by his side. He speaks English and has heard of a place called London - other people have arrived here down the ages - all escaping from a London that is burning. None of them have returned. Except one - who travels between the two worlds at will. The group begin a quest to find this one survivor; the one who holds the key to their return and to the safety of London.

 And as they travel this world, meeting mythical and legendary creatures,split between North and South by a mighty river and bordered by The White City and The Crystal Palace they realize they are in a world defined by all the London's there have ever been.

Reminiscent of Michael Moorcock and Julian May this is a grand and sweeping science fantasy built on the ideas, the legends, the memories of every London there has ever been.

Well, this sounds a bit different and I'm intrigued by the comparison to both Michael Moorcock and Julian May!  I love books about alternate cities, especially London, so will definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

October New Release Giveaway!

Welcome to the October New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight and Librarian Lavender! The hop runs from today through to midnight on October 31 2015. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $22 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in October and fill out the rafflecopter!

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Check out the linky below for all more blogs taking part, thanks for entering and good luck!

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Death House - Sarah Pinborough

Toby's life was perfectly normal... until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test.

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House: an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They're looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it's time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It's how you choose to live that counts.

The Death House is, at its heart, a love story. Unlikely I know for something that reads like a dystopian Gothic but it's the truth. Toby is one of a handful of residents of the Death House, an isolated big house on an island presumably somewhere in the British Isles.Sixteen years old and decidedly unlikeable Toby is waiting to die, like all the other residents of the Death House, from a mysterious illness that can only be picked up in a blood test and once you're found to have it you're whisked away - leaving your life, family and friends behind for good. One day though, something happens and Toby realizes that just maybe he wants to live. Clara, the new resident, turns everyone's lives upside down and suddenly little things that didn't matter? Now they do...

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Pinborough's writing and have been since I picked up a copy of A Matter of Blood way back when. The Death House is one for the favorite's list, it's beautifully written and the children in the house are vividly written as is the house itself. It should be a depressing, downbeat read but is actually quite wonderful in its description and the way that there's a layer of menace over everything, from the children themselves to the matron who is maybe just as dangerous as this disease they are all facing. Clara and Toby are two of the best written teenagers I've come across in a while. In fact it's quite easy to forget they are teenagers at times as they develop a sense of maturity way above those of their peers not on the island. The supporting cast of characters, Will, Louis, Jake, Eleanor and Ashley are all equally as well written and unique in their character too and play pivotal parts in the story of The Death House. It's a slow build to a most unexpected ending, especially when there's an element of hope throughout the latter part of the story that has you hooked to the very last page. I shall say no more but if you're anything like me you'll need a box of tissues handy...

The Death House - Sarah Pinborough
ISBN - 9781473202320
Publisher - Gollancz
Release date - February 26 2015

Many thanks to Gollancz and Netgalley for a review copy!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Spooky Sunday #3 - Stonehearst Asylum

Welcome to Spooky Sunday, a new feature on Bookish Outsider that will run until Halloween!This week I've been watching quite a few 'spooky' movies but my favorite was Stonehearst Asylum, starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley.

A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues -- though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.

Having read reviews and talked to other people who have seen Stonehearst Asylum I get the feeling I'm in the minority having liked this movie. Jim Sturgess is fantastic as a doctor who turns up at Stonehearst as a new doctor and discovering that things in the asylum aren't quite as they should be. The entire cast were superb, both the inmates and the doctors, and the setting was suitably eerie for a remote lunatic asylum. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short story, The System of Doctor Tarr & Professor Fether, Stonehearst Asylum is a great Halloween watch which will have you split over who the real lunatics actually are...

This has been an R.I.P. X production.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway: Return To The Secret Garden - Holly Webb

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Return To The Secret Garden by Holly Webb! 

When I was little The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books. I longed to be Mary, so I could discover the hidden garden as I was convinced magical things would happen if I did! Return To The Secret Garden is is the story of another little girl, this time in the 1930's and her discovery of a diary written by a girl called Mary...

Why the Secret Garden? by Holly Webb
I chose to write a sequel to The Secret Garden because it’s always been one of my favourite books. I hadn’t considered writing a sequel at all, until a conversation about five years ago with one of my editors, where we were discussing our childhood favourites. The sequel was her idea, and I wasn’t sure at all – how odd to take someone else’s characters. But I kept coming back to the idea, as I loved the original book so much. Mary’s character was what I’d really remembered, but when I came back to the book, it was Misselthwaite Manor and its gardens that drew me in. I decided that I’d set my sequel later, since I was worried by writing a direct continuation of the original, and I wanted to introduce a different child to the garden.
I chose the wartime setting as I knew that the original three children would have been young adults just at the outbreak of the First World War – I hated the thought of Colin and Dickon going from such a sheltered, beautiful place into a war, and I wanted to write about the effect that it would have had on them. I’ve always thought that to be their age was particularly cruel – it’s so hard to imagine how it would feel to go through “The War to End All Wars” and then see the world creeping back towards another one. It was then I realised that if Emmie was an evacuee, I had the perfect way to bring her to Misselthwaite.
Even then, the plot took a while to come together. I knew what I wanted to happen, but perhaps it was because I had the constraints of the original, I wasn’t sure how to make it all work. In the end, I finally worked out what would happen on a train – I love train journeys for working! It was an evening journey to Edinburgh, so it was too dark to look out of the window after a while, and I was stuck in one place for hours with my plot (and some chocolate, I think). It wasn’t by any means the final story – I always plot my books out, but I don’t then necessarily stick to what I’ve planned. It wouldn’t be as exciting if whole new characters didn’t turn up in the middle… 

About the Author

Holly Webb was one of the World Book Day authors for 2012 and has received high praise for her previous standalone fiction Looking For Bear, A Cat Called Penguin, The Chocolate Dog and A Tiger Tale. She published her 100th book, The Truffle Mouse, in August.

Holly worked for five years as a children's fiction editor before deciding that she would rather write. Holly now lives in Reading with her husband, three sons and just one cat. 

About Return To The Secret Garden

 It's 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house - a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary and a garden. A very secret garden...

Return To The Secret Garden - Holly Webb
Release date - October 1 2015
Publisher - Scholastic 
Format - Hardcover | E-book

Giveaway - UK & Ireland Only

Scholastic are giving away a copy of The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett and a copy of Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb to one lucky blog tour follower!

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Monday 5th October

Tuesday 6th October

Wednesday 7th October

Thursday 8th October

Friday 9th October

Saturday 10th October

Sunday 11th October

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Books To Movies Giveaway!

Welcome to the Books to Movies Giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer & BookHounds! So many books are turned into movies these days so this giveaway is for one book of your choice that has been made into a movie. It can be a book that was made into a movie this year or a book that was made into a movie ten years ago, as long as it's available from the Book Depository and costs no more than $15 you can choose it. As an added bonus if you live in the UK you may choose either the book or the DVD - provided it's easily available and not more than £10!

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Don't forget to check out all the other blogs taking part at Book Hounds, thanks for entering and good luck!

The Edge Of Reason - Melinda Snodgrass

Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic and religious fanaticism, and the cause of reason and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated the liberation of the human spirit.

Police officer Richard Oort is caught in the middle of this primal battle when he rescues the mysterious Rhianna from a trio of inhuman hunters. Recruited by the leader of the Lumina an enigmatic billionaire to serve as a Paladin, Richard finds himself at the centre of the war between Light and Darkness. But he has his own darkness that threatens to overwhelm him. Is he strong enough to bear the burden?

Melinda Snodgrass might be better known to some as the writer behind Star Trek TNG as she was to me so I was intrigued to read her fantasy trilogy that starts with The Edge of Reason. Originally published in 2008 it's been published in the UK to before the publication of the final book in the trilogy.

Richard Oort is out on patrol, minding his own business, when all of a sudden he's involved in the rescue of a girl from creatures that should not exist. From then on in it's a rollercoaster of emotions for Richard as he discovers that nothing in this world (and possibly the next) is what he thought it was. The Edge of Reason is very much a Good vs. Evil story, with Richard discovering he is a null, completely devoid of magic, unlike the majority of the population who still have a little left in their genetic make-up. For the confused police officer this means he is a Paladin, able to wield a sword and lead the fight against Evil even if he's not quite sure who or what that evil may be.

Snodgrass has a vast array of characters in her story, some more well developed than others but the most complex is definitely Oort. Becoming a police officer to rebel against his well-to-do family after briefly considering a career in music  much is made of his physical appearance in that he is short (for a man) and slight of build with a delicate appearance and therefore probably the least likely hero ever! Joining our hero are a young sorceress (falling in crush with Richard after her dramatic rescue), a feisty female coroner, a homeless man who may or may not be the physical embodiment of God and a business mogul who might just be Lucifer..

It's hard to grasp who is who and what side they're on and if you try to follow it too closely you'll end up with a headache but if you're willing to suspend all belief The Edge of Reason is actually a great urban fantasy story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading. Fast paced, it throws up some interesting points about religion and who the bad guy really is. I wasn't at all sure I'd like it at first but it's one of those books that gets under your skin so you have to keep reading and I've already started on the next book in the trilogy, The Edge of Ruin.

The Edge Of Reason (Edge #1) - Melinda Snodgrass
ISBN - 9781783294602
Publisher - Titan
Release date - September 19 2014

Many thanks to Titan for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!

Waiting On Wednesday #137 - A Criminal Magic

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

A Criminal Magic - Lee Kelly
ISBN - 9781481410335
Publisher - Saga Press
Release date - February 2 2016

THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters' crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer's shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC's most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family's home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic - and when their paths cross at the Shaws' performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

I added this to my wishlist in August as it sounds like something I would absolutely adore! Mention The Night Circus and Peaky Blinders in the same sentence? Sold... 


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #101 - Books I Need To Pick Up Again...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful gals cover at The Broke & The Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Seven Books I Need To Finish

I wasn't quite sure what to do this week. I thought about doing the series that I was going to quit reading but I couldn't think of many (although I'm sure there are actually a lot). Here's what I came up with in the end, books that I've started reading but for one reason or another I've put them aside, with a bookmark in marking my progress. Some of these bookmarks are near the beginning but a few are towards the end of the book so I don't know why I can't just pick the book up and finish it. I haven't put them down because I'm not enjoying them, a couple of these are books I've loved reading. I also seem to have a major problem with book titles that start with The...

Monday, 5 October 2015

Peacemaker - Marianne de Pierres

Peacemaker - Marianne de Pierres
ISBN - 9780857664181 (US) | 9780857664174 (UK)
Publisher - Angry Robot
Release date - April 29 2014 (US) | April 17 2014 (UK)

Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park - the world's last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she's not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.

When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. Dead bodies start piling up around her, so she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner, U.S. Marshall Nate Sixkiller, are standing in its path...

I think anyone who's a regular reader of this blog knows that I happen to be a fan of Marianne de Pierres' work. I read Nylon Angel back in 2011 and since then I've read most of her available books so I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to read Peacemaker! The one thing I love about Marianne de Pierres is that you know you are going to be amazed at some point by the way she blends her genres together effortlessly and Peacemaker is no exception. Part sci-fi, part western and part crime thriller with a dash of romance I was hooked from the first page to the last by some of the most brilliant genre blending I've read in a while!

After witnessing a murder that was supposedly impossible in Australia's National Park Virgin is assigned a US Marshal who is coming in to help solve problems the Park bosses are having with drugs & various other things. Disgusted at the thought at having to play babysitter to Nate Sixkiller Virgin goes out of her way to ditch him, except Nate has the innate ability to turn up right when she's got herself into trouble or just when her lover, Heart, makes an appearance... Heart is a stripper and together they make the odd un-couple, Virgin neither wants or needs a boyfriend and she certainly doesn't want a stranger complicating things even further. Just when it looks like things can't get any worse Virgin discovers that all may not be as it seems and Sixkiller may not be the only hiding things.

Peacemaker is one of the most original novels I've read in a long time. Apart from the completely seamless blending of genres de Pierres' characters just about leap off the page in both characterization and dialogue. Virgin is sarcastic, funny, sharp and everything else you want in a strong female character and I adore both Heart and Sixkiller as the other points of the (not) love triangle. This has only endeared me even more to Marianne's writing and trust me, both Peacemaker and Mythmaker (review coming later this week) are definitely worth looking out for!

Thanks to Angry Robot and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for a fair & unbiased review. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Guest Post: Marianne de Pierres On Things You Can't Live Without!

A huge welcome back to Marianne de Pierres! I interviewed Marianne last year on the release of Peacemaker so am thrilled to have her write this guest post to celebrate the release of book two, Mythmaker!

My Addictions - Marianne de Pierres

        1)      TV series – drama and comedy: It’s become my great passion of late. I gobble them down at a           phenomenal rate, and love nothing better than a binge watch of an entire 6 or 7 season series over a few days. It makes for such a great viewing experience. Lately I’ve binge-watched WEEDS, GILMORE GIRLS, and a bunch of UK period drama mini-series like Sense and Sensibility and Emma, but my top watch for this year is OUTLANDER. Ronald D. Moore is da man!

2)      Basketball – the greatest sport on earth. I watch, coach, and play. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without it.

3)      Books – natch! I’m surrounded by them every day in my library/ sitting room/ office. So many good stories to read, so little time.

4)      Cake – life is all about the next great slice of (gluten free) cake. Truly.

5)      Chocolate – yes, of course, and right now I’m on a strict detox.

6)      My family – I suffer unnerving withdrawals when I can’t see or speak to them.

7)      My birds – see family problem above. I have three noisy galahs who are demand air time.

8)      The Internet -- for shame, for shame, but it is the truth. My websites and I are co-dependent.

9)      My peeps -- I mean the real ones. The friends who are genuine; those who I trust to be honest and kind. 

      10)   Writing – well I would hope so… but, the truth is, I definitely am. Can’t go more than a few days at the most without writing words. Otherwise, I get unbearably cranky. 

 Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis series, the award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series and the Peacemaker SF Western series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She’s also the author of a teen dark fantasy series.
Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs. Marianne writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at and and

Spooky Sunday #2 - Blackwood

Welcome to Spooky Sunday, a new feature on Bookish Outsider that will run until Halloween! This week I've been watching Blackwood, starring Sophia Myles (Doctor Who - The Girl In The Fireplace) and Ed Stoppard (Brideshead Revisited).

Having recovered from a breakdown, college professor Ben Marshall relocates to the countryside with his wife and young son, hoping for a fresh start. He has a teaching job lined up and a new home to move into; things finally look to be going Ben's way. Until, that is, he starts to feel that something isn't quite right in the house. Finding himself plagued by spectral visions, Ben becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a local mystery that appears to be putting the lives of his family in danger.

The house they move into formerly belonged to an artist, now a resident of a nursing home and virtually catatonic, who has left behind most of her belongings including a suitably creepy painting in the room Ben sets up as his study. Throw in a peculiar fox mask, a supposedly disturbed ex-soldier (excellently played by Russell Tovey), a weird priest (Paul Kaye) and a broken clock chiming in the middle of the night and you have a spine-chilling movie, guaranteed to spook you if you watch by yourself late at night. Solid performances from Kaye, Tovey, Stoppard and Greg Wise as a philandering scientist make Blackwood appear better than maybe it is along with a sense that just around the corner is something truly scary. It never quite lives up to its promise though. Watching Ben unravel, wondering if Blackwood is really haunted or if indeed he is slowly losing his mind, is mesmerizing but not enough.

A good movie, worth a watch, but never quite gets there in terms of scaring you!

This has been an R.I.P. X production.
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