Touched, Hardback
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)

Description

This is a chilling, deeply creepy Hammer novella by Joanna Briscoe, author of the acclaimed, bestselling novel, Sleep With Me.

Rowena Crale and her family have moved from London. They now live in a small English village in a cottage which seems to be resisting all attempts at renovation.

Walls ooze damp, stains come through layers of wallpaper, celings sag. And strange noises - voices - emanate from empty rooms.

As Rowena struggles with the upheaval of builders while trying to be a dutiful wife and a good mother to her young children, her life starts to disintegrate. And then, one by one, her daughters go missing...

Information

  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Horror & ghost stories
  • ISBN: 9780099590828

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by
3.5

Touched is a Hammer novella, inspired by Joanna Briscoe having once lived in the Village of the Damned. Rowena Crale, having ousted her mother-in-law from her cottage in Crowsley Beck, moves in with her husband Douglas, and their five children. The cottage is resisting all attempts to knock through to next door and odd stains and smells keep appearing, strange third child Evangeline is dressing in her grandmother's clothes and keeps disappearing and Rowena is finding it harder to cope.I liked this book but it didn't scare me and I'm still not entirely sure what the overall conclusion was. I read most of it in one sitting and I think that was a good thing because it might have lost momentum otherwise. There wasn't a single likeable character which probably doesn't matter in this genre. The story was set in the '60s and I though the era was portrayed well. All in all a good short read and one which intrigued me.Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing a copy for review.

Review by
4

The trouble with reading a LOT of stories of this sort is that you so quickly become hard to enthrall and surprise. Touched didn't manage the latter, but did manage the former.<br/><br/>I felt the ending was a little unsatisfying, ultimately, but it was only the last ten pages. The rest was gloriously creepy. Exactly the sort of 'ghost story' I like - one where you are never sure if the evil comes from an inhuman outside force or the heroines own mind.

Review by
4

The trouble with reading a LOT of stories of this sort is that you so quickly become hard to enthrall and surprise. Touched didn't manage the latter, but did manage the former.<br/><br/>I felt the ending was a little unsatisfying, ultimately, but it was only the last ten pages. The rest was gloriously creepy. Exactly the sort of 'ghost story' I like - one where you are never sure if the evil comes from an inhuman outside force or the heroines own mind.

Review by
4
1963: Rowena Crale and her family have recently moved into an old house in a small English village. But the house appears to be resisting all attempts at renovation. Walls ooze damp. Stains come through layers of wallpaper. Ceilings sag. And strange noises - voices - emanate from empty rooms.
As Rowena struggles with the upheaval of builders while trying to be a dutiful wife to her husband and a good mother to her five small children, her life starts to disintegrate. And then her eldest and prettiest daughter goes missing. Out in the village, a frantic search is mounted - while inside the house reveals its darkest secret: a hidden room with no windows and no obvious entrance. Boarded up, it smells of old food, disinfectant - and death...

Set in a world where appearances are everything, and nothing is as it seems, Touched is unsettling, claustrophobic, and utterly gripping.


”Where is Eva?’ said Rowena as the sun sank in honeyed shadows over the green, geese flying overhead. No one knew.’

The author grew up in Letchmore Heath village the location for 1960 film Village of the Damned from the John Wyndham classic The Midwich Cuckoos and this novella has the same feel - appearances can be deceptive. The book exudes a feeling of hot suffocation and a dreamy, almost, drowsy madness. The writing is beautiful and the characters of Rowena and Evangeline are fully realised in all their "touched" fragility. Haunting....

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