Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Orphan Choir - Sophie Hannah

Louise's seven year old son has been sent away to boarding school against her wishes, and she misses him desperately.

And her neighbor from hell is keeping her awake at night by playing loud, intrusive music.

So when the chance comes to move to the country, she jumps at it as a way of saving her sanity. Only it doesn't.

Because the music has followed her. Except this time, it's choral music sung by a choir of children only she can see and hear...

I picked up The Orphan Choir for two reasons, the fact that I loved Sophie Hannah's Spilling CID series ( the first few anyway,) and because I was intrigued by the new Hammer imprint. If you like horror it's pretty obvious you're going to check out Hammer books sooner or later! 

I'm not sure what Sophie Hannah intended with The Orphan Choir but I'm quite sure it wasn't complete and utter confusion, along with a healthy dose of disbelief. Louise and Stuart have a talented son who is lucky enough to be a chorister and boarder but Louise is not happy about this. She thinks her son is slowly being taken away from her but can't convince her husband of her worries. Added to this an ongoing feud with the next door neighbor who will insist on playing loud music at all times of the day and night and Louise is falling apart.

When a lifeline appears in the form of a second home in a secluded rural gated community Louise is off, trying to work out how she can stay there full-time and have her son with her. If something seems too good to be true though, it normally is and Swallowfield is where her life will change forever.

You might think, that as this is a Hammer novel, that it's full-on horror, scary and bloody but it's not. The Orphan Choir is a subtle horror, a ghost story, unsettling, more psychological than horrifying but there are parts that will stay with you for some time after reading. This is where the confusion comes in though as the vast majority of the story seemed to consist of the fight with the noisy neighbor, the battle to have Joseph come home on weekends and then all of a sudden it's the last twenty pages of the book and everything is happening. People are dropping huge hints that maybe everything isn't quite right, Louise is starting to figure out the origin of the mysterious choral singing and then, bam! It's all over... 

If you're a fan of Sophie Hannah's books then you'll like The Orphan Choir but if you're reading it for the horror and hopes of a good ghost story I would suggest you look elsewhere unfortunately.

The Orphan Choir - Sophie Hannah
ISBN - 9780099580027
Publisher - Hammer
Release date - October 10th, 2013
Find - Goodreads | Book Depository


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