Ace, August 2001, 14.95, 336 pp.
A man who lives in the seaport city of Crow's-end has inherited land in the mountain town of Hoole. He knows that he has to go to Hoole as soon as possible so he gets his affairs in order and boards the carriage that will take him to the isolated mountain town. Shel, a passenger in the carriage, is a taciturn revered person who doesn't allow his fellow passenger to draw him into conversation until the carriage reaches an unexpected town.
The man who is traveling to Hoole sees a destitute and deserted village with no traces of life, either human or animal. The quiet passenger tells him that he was in Shilston Upcot eleven years ago when the isolated village was populated with people until the horrible events happened that turned a happy little village into a ghost town. Later that night, at a regular stop at an inn he tells his acquaintance the terrifying and dark events that destroyed a thriving community.
The growing feelings of foreboding and the supernatural events that happened to the villagers are reminiscent of the works of Lovecraft. THE HOUSE IN THE WOODS is a gothic like, slow moving work that allows the audience to fully comprehend events and the growing horror that absorbed the villagers. Jeffrey E Barlough has not written an action packed thriller but an atmospheric novel that digs deep inside the guts of the reader.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner