I have loved reading haunted house and ghost stories from an early age, there is nothing better than sitting in darkened room getting chills down your spine. So I was looking forward to reading Nightingale House by Steve Frech and it didn’t disappoint, it is an enthralling creepy read.
In this book we see recently widowed author Daniel Price, who has just cracked the best-seller list with his debut novel, and his 8-year-old daughter starting afresh and moving into their new home on the beautiful shores of Willow Lake. Daniel and his wife Nicole had picked out this house together before she was killed in a car accident. Daniel is having trouble adjusting, not only with the new house and being a single father but he is still grieving causing him to have bad dreams.
Daniel can’t settle in the new house, having visual and audio hallucinations; he keeps hearing dripping noises where there are no leaks which move from room to room, thumps from within the bookcase in his writing room and whispers of “I can’t sleep” throughout the house, and his sees the ghost of his wife Nicole (and the ghost of a man and a small child).
If that was not enough to deal with, his daughter has a new imaginary friend called Katherine.
Daniel soon discovers a chilling story about the original owners of the house, one of betrayal, tragedy, and murder. But are past deeds invading on the present, bringing Daniel’s worst nightmares to life?
Nightingale House is a terrific story. It starts with a grieving family making a new start and slowly starts to build into a really creepy, eerie ghost story. It doesn’t go all out to try and shock and scare, but gently builds.
The author has created the story told the point of view of Daniel and his daughter Caitlyn in the present day, interspersed with journal entries from Rebecca, a pharmacist’s daughter, from the year 1900 to build the backstory behind the house and its original owners, The Carrington’s.
The characters within this book are all excellent, well-defined and relatable.
Daniel is a grieving single father. His daughter Caitlyn is a typical 8-year-old girl coping with the loss of her mother and making up stories to compensate. Rebecca is an excellent character, a slightly naïve teenager who gets her head turned by a charming, sophisticated man that is not what he seems. Then we have the neighbour Mildred, she provides the light-hearted humorous relief to balance out the darkness of Thomas Carrington and his daughter Katherine.
Overall, this was a great read. It wasn’t a full-on scarefest but really creepy and eerie. Daniel is having horrible nightmares, his daughter has a friend only she can see and there is something truly menacing and rarely seen within the house.
The journal entries going back in time to build the story works extremely well, creating atmosphere and depth.
I like the writing style of Steve Frech and the story is skilfully put together, engaging and captivates the reader. A well-crafted story that blends the past with the present with ease, and has excellent characters that really make the book enjoyable, chilling and a worthwhile read.
Nightingale House is a haunted house ghost story with murder, mystery, chills and thrills. A creepy read that will keep you up well into the night.
RRP: £8.99 (Paperback) / £1.99 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.