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Martin, Julia Wallis - 'Dancing with the Uninvited Guest' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Anne Dover
Audio Cassette (2002) Publisher: Clipper Audio UK ISBN: 1841973890

At the centre of this book is the Northumbrian medieval manor house of Lyndle Hall, a house so chilling and rundown that it is a wonder anyone still lives there. There are many characters in this book but through one connection or another they meet at the forsaken Lyndle Hall. The son of the Hall's owners is Nicholas a troubled lad of university age who believes himself to be at the mercy of a demonic creature and the bite marks from the 'creature' are visible to all. Nicholas' mother Claudia contacts the Parapsychology department of an institute in Edinburgh for help. They send Audrah Siddow a parapsychologist who is convinced there is a rational explanation for everything and yet she herself consulted a psychic a few years ago when her husband vanished on a walking trip. That psychic, John Cranmer, is also at Lyndle. He has come because Claudia's husband together with a friend of Nicholas's have disappeared from the Hall. More characters arrive at the Hall and the police and Audrah try to unravel the different reasons behind each person's arrival whilst searching the grounds for the missing couple.

The narrative jumps from one family to the next, telling the story of why they are headed for Lyndle Hall and so there is quite a lot to keep in your head especially as it's an audio book which makes it more tricky to flick back and forth. It becomes easier when everyone gets to Lyndle. Once I realised how the disparate sections would be connected I began to relax and enjoy the narration a lot more and Anne Dover does a fine job.

The writing flows and there are rational explanations given for most of the happenings but that's not to say that some events could equally be interpreted as resulting from the paranormal if you chose to believe it. I was disappointed with a couple of the explanations and it has quite a down beat ending for Audrah who is possibly the nearest the book has to a central character. It's an extremely gripping story and I played it at every opportunity.

Karen Meek, England
October 2004

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

last updated 23/03/2008 21:00