The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published
The Killing Room - John  Manning Eighty years ago maid was killed in the Young mansion. A few days later the family lottery began…Every ten years the Young host a family reunion in the family mansion and every adult member is eligible to participate in the lottery. And each and every member of the family hopes he or she won’t be the winner.Because the prize isn’t a million bucks or a shiny new car. The winner has to spend a night in the basement room when the maid was murdered. And no one has ever emerged from that room alive…Until now, that is.Ooh, what a nicely creepy, chilling, thrilling, and suspenseful story this was. The mansion and the sprawling grounds around it gave it a gothic atmosphere, which was only enhanced by the raging ghost and a pitchfork wielding apparition. The characterization was wonderful – the characters were varied, multi-layered, and nicely flawed, and I loved the family dynamics.The paranormal investigator was a nice touch, providing a slightly romantic angle to an otherwise straight-laced horror/thriller story.Yes, this was a horror/thriller mix, and it really was chilling, thrilling, and creepy. And the author’s “slow” narrative of past events, the constant feel of something being omitted, the secrets, half-truths, and outright lies made for an exciting and page-turning read.Until the last few chapters, when this great story sunk into the realm of the bizarre. Without divulging any secrets and spoilers, to me such an ending seemed a bit amateurish, as if the Mr. Manning had no real clue how to end the story, so he decided to insert a horror cliché and watch was happened.What happened was that this reader was extremely disappointed with that passage in the story.Still, the resolution was satisfactory and all the secrets were revealed (though some of those were evident almost from the start), but that bizarre twist of events toward the end lowered the rating for me.3 ½ - 4 stars