Original publish date: 10 May 2014
“A riveting and dramatic ghost story.”
That’s what the front cover flap copy claims of Chris Bohjalain’s The Night Strangers. I must admit that I was rather optimistic and excited after reading that. Then add to that the fact that it’s set in a Victorian home, which is one of my favorite types of homes. I was all pumped up to read this. But it was difficult for me to get into the story of Chip Linton, an airline pilot who suffered a tragic crash over water, and his wife and twin girls as they move into their new Victorian home.
The writing itself was rather good and I enjoyed it, especially as the story of the house was reminiscent of Amityville Horror; however, I was quite thrown off by the use of second person throughout the novel. These sections were actually incredibly difficult to read and at first I was confused about whose perspective it was supposed to represent. After reading through the entire novel, I have an idea of why it was used for Chip due to the issues that plagued him…I think, but I’m not entirely convinced that it was the best choice as the rest of the novel utilized third person narration.
And please don’t get me started on the ending. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY?!? Now, I’m not a huge proponent of a happy, neatly resolved ending, but even though this doesn’t have that in the traditional sense, it does in the half-assed ending that uses some magic to make everything OK. Just no. No. To have one of the affected parties in the family remember everything that happened but let the others live in blissful ignorance. I don’t think so. Psychologically speaking, I am not convinced that Chip would be able to conceal all of the horrors for the rest of his life and live “happily ever after.”
This book frustrated me and in some respects I enjoyed that, because you don’t always want to have that easy read, but the ways it frustrated me were more irksome than anything.
Overall, I’d give this a 2.5 out of 5 stars.