Will MacMillan Jones is no stranger to this blog, and neither is Hugh Roberts.
Title: The House Next Door
Author: Will MacMillan Jones
Published: 10 January 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 262 (paperback)
Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6cm
Price: £9.99 (Kindle – £2.60)
When Shiela finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette. Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal, this time via The House Next Door.
I purchased the paperback version of this book at the Llandeilo Book Fair.
The House Next Door is the third in the series of the Mister Jones collection of paranormal mysteries. I wasn’t put off by the fact that I had not read the first two books in the series and quickly fell into getting to know the characters.
The opening chapters of the book build nicely into what is coming up. They gripped me and I was soon engrossed in what was going on. What I really did like was the way MacMillan Jones jumped ahead in the story from the point of view of the characters before going back again to pick up why certain characters found themselves where they were. It’s clever writing which I admire very much and he did it in such a way that I never once lost my way in any of the story plots.
For some reason, I was expecting a lot of gore in this book, but there was little of it. Don’t be put off by the front cover if you don’t usually read paranormal. It may look frightening, but I wasn’t frightened once by what was going on inside the book. The story is told well in wanting to make the reader know what is going to happen next and, like all great authors, MacMillan Jones ends some of the chapters with some great cliffhangers. I find this is always a guarantee in making the reader read on instead of putting the book down and perhaps never coming back to it.
I was expecting the story to be creepy and that is what disappointed me most of all. I felt the sparks were there to ignite the story, but they never actually got going. For me, it was as if seasoning had not been added to what could have been a great meal. The story of a strange antique statuette that comes with an evil presence grabbed me, but what the nightmare transpired into didn’t have me hiding behind the cushions. Nevertheless, this book will certainly appeal to those who don’t like being scared witless!
Did it make me want to read the first two books in the Mister Jones series? I’m neutral on this because, whilst I enjoyed the story much, I didn’t take to Mister Jones. He rather irritated me in parts, but maybe that is what the author intended? I felt I wanted to rough him up a little and to make him not know all the answers all of the time. On the other hand, one of the other characters, Ian Evans, was far more likable and, throughout the book, I was willing him on to be the real hero.
Realistic Characterisation: 4/5
Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
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