Dr. Faraday remembers Hundreds Hall from visits there as a child when his mother was on the nursery staff. He loves the house and the gardens and surrounding parks so when he is called there in his capacity as a doctor many years later, he is dismayed by the amount of decay and decline that has taken place. Only Mrs. Ayers and her two adult children, Roderick and Caroline, live there now and it is slowly draining what little remains of the family fortune. Dr. Faraday is called in to see the new parlor maid, Betty. Betty is young and excitable and is not really very sick but instead tells Dr. Faraday that she doesn’t like being in the house, that something bad is in it. Dr. Faraday scoffs at her claims, prescribes some mild digestive medicine she clearly doesn’t need, and doesn’t think too much more about it. However, something is amiss at Hundreds Hall. A dinner party goes terribly wrong and a young girl is horribly disfigured. Roderick claims to see movement where there can surely be none. A host of creepy noises and vague shadows permeate the house and terrorize the residents.
Are you scared yet?
There is very little I enjoy more in life than a good case of the creeps. I may complain about it and spend a few sleepless nights, but I love creepy movies. I love creepy books even more. Which brings me around to Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger. ..I would SO love a good British director (NOT a Hollywood one, witness the 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later difference!) to get ahold of this and run with it. This is so atmospheric and gothic with none of the gore/monster/vampire/zombie fetishes that other horror tends to run to. This is ExCeLlEnT horror is you like that sort of thing AND it is on the Man Booker Longlist for the 2009 awards! The shortlist will be announced in September and I will be heartbroken if it is not on there. I think, based on a conversation that Katie and I had earlier today, that it would make an excellent book group selection.