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The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death – Martyn Waites Review

The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death – Martyn Waites Review

the-woman-in-black-angel-of-death-book-coverReleased: December 2014

I should start this review by saying I don’t usually read horror stories. In fact I haven’t read one for about ten years but the New Year is always a time for trying new things out, or reintroducing old ones, so I nervously agreed to review this book on the strict understanding that I would have to take my time over it as bedtime reading would not be an option.

Angel of Death is based on Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, with the same eerie setting of Eel Marsh House on a small but remote island in the South East of England. A group of London children are evacuated to a safe house during the Blitz only to find once they arrive that they are near a targeted airfield. Not only that, the house is practically falling down around them. But this is a horror story and the main source of danger doesn’t come from the German air raids or the decrepit house, it comes from some of the children themselves who begin to behave very oddly when they find a strange puppet.

Two female teachers have accompanied the children to the house. One is old and inflexible, the other younger and with a more sympathetic approach to the children’s problems, but they are both fighting their own demons and the badness in the house seems to pick up on and feed on this. It would be unfair to say much more about the plot as many people will be looking forward to seeing the film or reading the book for themselves.

At first I thought it was going to be a horror story for all the wrong reasons. I found the writing followed the film script too heavily and relied on those classic cinematic devices – like the damp creeping across the floor – to create an atmospheric read. But as the story got going it definitely improved and I found myself getting involved with the narative, so much so that yes, I even carried on reading long after bedtime. And because I don’t want any spoilers in here, let’s just say that the ending was unexpected to say the least. Sometimes reading a novel that’s out of your usual genre can be a rewarding experience, and The Woman in Black: Angel of Death was quite good fun in the end.


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