Title: The Poisoned House
Author: Michael Ford
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: ARC via Netgalley
The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lives below the stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London. Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs. Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper. The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs. Cotton is by pretending the house is haunted.So when a real ghost makes an appearance-that of her beloved mother-no one is more surprised than Abi. But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi's already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof. With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it's up to Abi to nurse his back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst. As the chilling truth dawns, Abi's world is turned upside down.
When it comes to writing historical fiction, I believe it takes a different kind of writing style. An author, often times, needs to have done an extensive amount of research on the time period they're writing about and has to get the language of the time right as well. Micheal Ford satisfied both of those attributes and he did it well. But the story was not what I had excepted at all.
To start off, it was very slow in the beginning and I was having a hard time getting through the first few chapters. Even though it was a good story, I thought it was just boring. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and, honestly, it would not have mattered to me how it ended. Which brings me to my next point: I did not expect the ending at all. I'm not going to say that I was surprised nor did I fall out of my seat with shock, cause I didn't. When it ended, I thought, "hhmm, that was interesting." No more, no less.
When I read the synopsis of the book, I expected it to be some kind of ghost story in a haunted house so I thought it was going to be a horror story and that I would be scared while reading. I mean, even the cover is somewhat horrifying! But I wasn't at all. There was one ghost who made about one appearance. I wanted to be scared out of my pants!
Because it wasn't at all as I expected, I was constantly guessing around every corner, which I really liked. I love being caught off guard and when the author drops bombs that I don't see coming. It puts twits and turns in the story and The Poisoned House is full of them.