Book review | The Grateful Manor Horror by Duncan McKinlay

Author: Duncan McKinlay

Genre: Horror / Suspense / Thriller

No. of pages: 224

Published by: Olympia Publishers

Published on: 6th September 2017

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

The book starts with the rape of a young sixteen year old girl named Mary Brown in the early 1600s. Mary is the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Brown, who are the owners of the huge and majestic Grateful Manor mansion. One day when Mary goes to the river to take a swim, she gets raped by a water demon and thus gets Mary pregnant. Mary gives birth to a healthy son and comes to call him by the name 'Jason'. But Jason turns out to be an evil boy himself and goes to terrible extent of even raping his own mother and grandmother.

Unable to bear this torture anymore, Mary soon finds out a way to trap Jason in the mansion forever. Mary wrote her unfortunate anecdotes in a diary which has been passed down the inheritance line to a young lady named Ann Carson. Ann is a distantly related to Mary and after her parent's death in 2012, Ann is now the owner of the Grateful Manor mansion.

Ann reads the diary, and even though she feels that the incidents in the diary are made up, she cannot resist the strong urge to see for herself whether Jason exists in the mansion or not. Thus follows a series of gruesome and gory incidents that can chill your bones, make you scared of old mansions and darkness.

Though I must say that the book has a very gripping and chilling plot, there are a few things that put me off.

First and foremost is the excessive amount of rape. I kind of feel that the concept of rape has been glorified in this book. There were unnecessary scenes where the protagonist lures people by exposing her genitals or by being naked all of a sudden. Being raped by a demon (or even a man for that say) is something atrocious, but in this book our protagonist sometimes derive pleasure out of it. At one point of time I was even sceptical whether the genre was horror or erotica.

Second thing that put me off was the fact that the scenes are repetitive. Both the rape and unnecessary sex parts and the ghastly killing parts. Lots of people were killed in the same fashion and lots of people were sexually aroused to have sex. I don't know why, but I feel that it was a completely deviated from its horror genre and ended up being an ugly erotica. 

I would definitely admit that I was hooked to the book from the very start. The author gets full credits for this. The book has horror scenes but it did not get to me while I was reading the the book, rather I felt the chills after I had completed the book.

I have to be honest here. I did not like the narrative of the book. I felt like I was a 5 year old kid and someone is narrating it too me (except it's a proper adult story). I feel that the author could have approached the narration in a different way, in a way in which the readers would actually get scared WHILE reading the book and not AFTER reading the book. The language is pretty clean and simple and that's why I could finished the book within 12 hours. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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