Saturday, September 16, 2006

Haunted by Heather Graham

Get a load of this sentence:

The wooden evidence box, filled with dirt and bones, had been left in one of the viewing rooms, where one of Matt's men would have picked it up from to drive it on in to Digger at the Museum.

Oh. My. Gosh. That has got to be one of the most bizarre, convoluted and just plain awful sentences I've ever seen in a published novel. I had to reread four times before finally untangling what Graham was trying to say in that pronoun-laden disaster of a sentence. However, I'm not here to pick on a poor, bestselling novelist (regardless of how enticing the idea may be).

In the novel Haunted, paranormal investigator Darcy Tremayne arrives at historic Melody House and moves into the haunted "Lee Room" to investigate a malevolent ghost that has attacked two women. Is there really a ghost haunting the Virginia estate that sheriff Matt Stone inherited from his grandfather? Or is a living human indulging in some serious pranks?

Well, shucks, I had to find out. While the writing was awkward, at best, and upon reflection I could tear the plot to pieces, I have to give the author credit for sucking me in. Suspense alone can keep an author selling; and, Graham did dangle the suspense carrot nicely in front of this donkey's face. I'm not certain I would have continued to read, however, if not for two little factors that tugged me toward the ending: I was reading along with friends and I wanted another check mark toward my R.I.P. Challenge tally.

After Daphne du Maurier's stylistic brilliance, a lot of pretty decent books would have likely paled by comparison, I must admit. Graham's writing is anything but brilliant, however, she must get at least a couple of points for entertainment value. Even though, technically, the book was kind of a clunker and I was relieved to reach the end.


Chalk another line on the challenge wall. I haven't started a fourth creepy book because we've been a little overwhelmed this weekend, thus far. But, I'm still hacking away at An Obsession With Butterflies and 36 Views of Mt. Fuji. I've also begun reading a book about organizing called The Messies Manual and dipped into an anthology by P. G. Wodehouse, Lord Emsworth and Others. Hopefully, someday I'll actually finish one of those books. But, for now, I think I'll get some sleep.

Happy Weekend!


  1. I'm not interested in HAUNTED, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review. Well done!

    And, yes, the concept of crossing off an item on almost any list can be quite a thrill and drive us to its completion. :)

  2. Fourth! I'm still trying to finish my first! I think I definitely need to spend more time reading and less time cleaning on the weekends.

  3. Joy,

    Thanks, glad you liked the review! HAUNTED was a bit of a departure for me. I'm glad I read it, I guess, just because it's nice to try new authors even if I can't stand their writing. There are times, though, that I wish I was better at just stopping if a book isn't terrific!


    If you don't catch up with me this month, you can be consoled by the fact that you'll likely wallop me on books read in November. ;)

    Cleaning on weekends is something I usually flatly refuse to do, but only because I'm married to Mr. Chaos and I spend the rest of the week at home, cleaning up after him. I guess I figure I should have time off on the weekends, too. When I had a job, our house was a total disaster. Hubby didn't help pick up the slack at all - one of the many reasons I said, "Nyeh, I'll stay home for a while" when my job moved away.

  4. it's hard writing a review for a book i don't like.. i usually don't bother unless it's to warn people off of it.

  5. Angela,

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I agree, it's much harder to write about a book you dislike. This one had a good hook, so I enjoyed it in spite of what I consider simplistic writing style and some plotting holes, though. I think I need to clarify that a bit.

  6. I'm with Joy, the book doesn't interest me, but I really,really enjoyed your review!

    BTW, bookfool, I have tagged you for a book meme. I hope you will play!

  7. Thanks Lotus! I'm glad you enjoyed my review!

    Oh, boy, I've been tagged!! Yes, I'll play, of course. I'm excited; I've never been tagged for a meme, before. I'll be right over! :)


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