My last few "haunting" reads haven't been very haunting. I love a good scare, but lately they've been far and between. When I found Roger Hayden's The Haunting of Bechdel Mansion, I was looking for something pretty darned good.
I'm not going to lie, if it were not for the fact that I had a couple of books behind this one, I'd have dived right in to book 1- it's hold was that tight on me! Just the introduction to the story of Bechdel Mansion was enough. Though I found a couple of typographical errors, the story maintained a fluidity that allowed me to finish the reading in just over an hour.
Come with me, into The Haunting of Bechdel Mansion...
I'd started the intro to this review after the prelude read, but things changed for me. So first, the positives on this story: It's good. It's interesting and it's written in a way that brings on a natural desire to know more. It didn't hit me with a ton of activity that promised a horrific tale, but gradually built to a crescendo of curiosity The narration gave just enough information to know about Curtis and Mary without being obvious, which helped me maintain my interest. Even the ghostly events were likable and believable.
The book tells of Curtis and Mary, looking to start over. After enduring a tragic event, which is pretty obvious, they move to the quiet town of Redwood. The town is picturesque, but the home they purchased has history. Dark history that everyone in the sleepy, little town knows about but refuse to share. It's not until Mary's been haunted, by something, that she's interested in more than home renovation. She wants to know what took place in the house's 100 year past- but folks won't talk. But a certain ghost does through the pages of a journal.
So I've given the positives on The Haunting of Bechdel Mansion. It's a chilling tale of death, sadness and even a bit of rage from an unsolved massacre. Written with an air of mystery, you're introduced to a trouble woman and her mansion that carries an evil past. Hayden won me, but he also repelled me. Yes, there are a few negatives about this book that may cause me to backtrack on my own words.
First, the editing- what the heck happened?! Words were missing, sentences fizzeled, obstructing understanding and so much predictability. It caused me to wonder if I should even bother with the full novel. I stumbled quite a bit towards the middle of the book, thanks to having to constantly turn back to fill in the blanks. The work involved made The Haunting of Bechdel Mansion a slight disappointment. I just don't know anymore.
What I can say is, for the most part, the novella is a good, quick read. As far a future with the story and it's ending, it's a mystery...
The Haunting of Bechdel Mansion, Book 0
Amazon Digital Services
September 19, 2016
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