My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 5 days
Publisher - Quercus
Pages - 472
Blurb from Goodreads
Captain Hal Stirling is flown to England from Afghanistan after a roadside bomb renders him battered and broken.
Once home, he retreats to his ancestral family seat of Stirling Towers--a gothic mansion that dominates the landscape near the remote Scottish Borders--for a Christmas of quiet recuperation. But on arrival he discovers that his mother, a fanatical spiritualist, has died and been hastily buried.
Isolated from the insular local community, Hal finds himself at the mercy of his mother's two mysterious nurses, the harshest winter on record and, before long, the horrific visions; experiences he attributes to his heavy medication. Yet as the December weather deteriorates, so does Hal's certainty that his home is a place of safety.
Who, or what, is trying to frighten him to death?
Oh I really hate to give a book 1 star rating and it is rare that I do but I honestly couldn't give it any higher. Captain Hal Stirling is going home to England, from Afghanistan after a roadside bomb goes off and he is injured. Hals home is a Gothic mansion, isolated and his mother and two nurses await him. However upon arrival home, his mother has passed and been buried, the weather is getting worse and Hal is at home with his two nurses and some horrific visions. Are they a result of his injury, is it his medications, do the nurses play a part in it or is it something else, supernatural in his home?
The book is very disjointed, it jumps around and to be honest I think this does add to what Hal has been through and gives authenticity to his experience. However, as a reader I was so confused to what was going on, was it real or was Hal imagining it? The themes didn't work for me, you had religion, animals being killed, a patient being drugged by nurses and sex all over the place. The issue of the nurses behavior and how it would fair with their governing body, like realistic things with unrealistic actions. Spirits, supernatural, disjointed visions and then introducing but what would their governing body say if they knew of their behavior. I honestly had a headache trying to keep up with it all and digest it.
Hal is a complex character, he has clearly been traumatized by what happened to him and in love with his girlfriend yet he then proceeds to sleep with almost everyone he comes into contact with. I really didn't like any of the characters in this story, I couldn't work out their behavior and even when I finished the story, I was left with more questions than I started with. 1/5 for me, some people did like this book so if you like a challenging read this would be a good one for you to try.