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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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Going in to the story, Chichester Court is the residence of Gemma, Annne, Paige, Lucy, Rhia and Johanna. They live with their kids and a series of mystified events evoke curiosity, mystery and fear in their minds. The tale is well described and it helps the reader to understand each and every situation well. I really like how this story rolls back and forth describing the life of each and every character and it grabbed my mind deeply. Precisely it took only two sittings for me to complete this book and I must say that this book made me enjoy my leisure time. Recommended read for all!
There is an air of evil in Chichester Court and it is not a safe place to be. For five women and their children it becomes a house of terror. Strange and disturbing things happen. Frightening dreams, eerie voices trying to coerce them to do unspeakable things, and the feeling of ghostly presence occur. But when the children are in danger and they are watched by a woman in Grey things take a turn for the worst.
A well written paranormal/psychological/suspense. All five women of different ages and points in their lives, are at Chichester for their own reasons. They are trying to cope with their life altering changes and then the secrets of the house surface.
Danger lurks everywhere, no one is safe. These strangers are pulled together, by horrific events. Will they ever be able to cope with what happens behind those walls? Will their lives ever be the same? I strongly recommendUnworkers to those who love a great paranormal/suspense. A definite 5 star read!
*This book was given to me as a gift.
Gemma, with 6yr old daughter Amy and 3 yr. old son Sam
Anne and her son Oliver
Paige and her baby Courtney (whose birth names are Pam and Cathy)
Lucy and her son Liam
There are also the unhappily married Rhia, and Johanna, a divorced woman who appears happy, as major characters.
Warning for those that believe marriage is sacrosanct: lovers abound in this story. Though most of these women are on what we call welfare in the US, and have small children, they still manage to attract men, most of whom seem keen on exacerbating the problem which landed the women in this creepy house to begin with, i.e., being single mothers.
All of these women above see or experience the ghostly manifestations of Chichester Court in some way (temporary possession--or at least very persuasive, dangerous impulses--for the women, violence/injury for the children). But I have to say, this is far more a drama on the wreckage of divorce and adultery than a horror story about what evil lurks in a house, or in men's hearts. That is not to say I didn't enjoy this book...it was very well written, and I really cared what happened to the characters, most of whom I could have been happy to call friends. My point is that this would have made a good drama story all on its own without the background of the spooky house and ghostly hauntings. I really enjoyed the drama and the story and the excellent dialogue, which made me cheer and laugh in spots.
I particularly liked this paragraph, which demonstrates the skill of the author in creating memorable, unusual characters that you can't help empathizing with, even when they make terrible mistakes: "Rhia felt swamped by the feeling she'd been only vaguely realising for several months but which had more recently begun to engulf her almost every time she went out of her house; her lovely house, her dream home which all her friends envied; her home with her clever, perfect children and her devoted, ideal husband. Yet for all the stability and equilibrium her life offered her now, it felt empty and stagnant compared with the lives of her friends. And not just her friends. Wherever she went, she felt compelled to look into other people's houses and believe the lives being lived out behind other windows and walls were more vibrant, more substantial than her own. And that made her feel dissatisfied, hollow...cheated....She felt like the Little Match Girl, the ragged child who gazed enviously through walls to feed off the light and lives of others."
I admit the title of this book didn't do it for me...but that is because I failed to get the reference, alluded to below direct from the book: 'The Unworkers', that's what I call us. Unpaid, unvalued, unnoticed... we're like those little elfin tailors, beavering away invisibly, putting the world to rights with our neat little patches while we put our own lives on hold for everyone else." The unworkers in the book are women whose love relationships did not work out, leaving them hard up for cash...which resulted in the move to the creepy mansion.
And why is the house creepy? Direct from the book:
"Chichester Court has sheltered a lot of angry people. And anger breeds anger, especially in idleness and stagnant spaces, and then spills into this cauldron of resentment and conflicting emotions and simmers and bubbles over the years until all this ill-feeling spills over and leaks into the nooks and crannies, the bricks and mortar of its confinement. Where does it go? Where can it go? There are no channels to release it, only an old tangled web of discordant lines and too many empty spaces in which to breed. Oh, that house is one huge, voracious parasite for the wrong kind of energy."
Be aware of the UK wording in several places, which means not just different spellings than those in the US, but sometimes slightly different meanings. For example: a housing scheme was referred to several times, and what was meant was the organization of how mothers come to be selected to take up residence in the halfway house, not that there was something sordid about how the selection process works. (People who have read stories by UK authors will pay this no attention, but I wanted to make note of this for readers that have not read a UK author before).
In summary, an interesting spooky tale that is great to while away a rainy afternoon.
Note: A free review copy was provided by the author