Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book giveaway

Publishers HarperCollins have kindly sent a copy of 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz to be given away on Random Distractions. I am not the best person to offer a review of this book because I don't usually read science fiction, fantasy or horror stories and this book contains all of those elements. But I did read it and will say a few words about it, making no claims to do justice to what I am sure is an excellent example of this genre of fiction. I must say that I soon began to enjoy it and I could  be heading to the library, in the near future, to see if they have any other books by Dean Koontz

Author:    Dean Koontz
Published by Harper Collins   in January 2012
451 pages
Price £18.99

Shadow Hill is the highest point in an unidentified heartland city. The hill and Shadow Street that was built on it were so named because of the shadows of trees and buildings that were cast on sunny afternoons, creeping up the hill as evening progressed until they met the night at the summit.

Number 77 Shadow Street was built in 1889, the very grand home of billionaire Andrew North Pendleton. At that time, the house was  called Belle Vista, and the Pendleton family - Andrew, his wife Margaret and their two young children - lived there happily until tragedy struck in 1897. Margaret and the children disappeared. It was presumed that they had been abducted but they were never found; Andrew became an eccentric recluse and eventually committed suicide. Therein lies the first mystery connected with the house.

The next owner of Belle Vista was Gifford Ostock, who lived there between 1905 and 1935. One night in December 1935, the butler slaughtered the whole family and all of the live-in staff before killing himself. The butler left an incoherent note claiming to have killed them all in order "to save the world from eternal darkness." Although sixteen people died, only eight bodies were found.

The house was owned next by Harmon Firestone, who died peacefully in his sleep in 1972. Belle Vista was then purchased for development into twenty-three luxury apartments but the conversion work was disrupted a year later, when a number of the tradesmen and craftsmen working there left their jobs because of strange happenings which they refused to discuss.  The apartments were eventually completed and the building renamed as the Pendleton, the most exclusive set of apartments in the town.

For more than thirty years, the Pendleton has been a peaceful and luxurious home to the wealthy, some famous, some infamous and some simply hard-working or fortunate enough to be able to afford to live there. It is now December 2011 and the peace is beginning to be disturbed. There are strange noises and glimpses of ghostly figures, the walls seem to be alive and there are menacing rumblings from deep inside the hill below the Pendleton.

Silas Kingsley lives in apartment  3-C. He has spent his years of retirement studying the history of Belle Vista/the Pendleton. He has noticed a link between the mysterious events of the past: they have occurred every 38 years and the last known incident was in 1973, exactly 38 years ago. He realises that the odd things that are happening in the building now are leading to some terrible tragedy unless he can unravel the mystery in time and save the residents.

To find out about the other residents and what happens to them, to be led into the mystery of 77 Shadow Street and the horrors awaiting them and the rest of the world you must read the book. It is a gripping read and I advise you to keep the lights on and to beware of shadows. You could buy a copy from Amazon or download it to your Kindle or you could leave a comment here and have a chance to win a copy.

You don't have to be a fantasy or science fiction lover to enjoy 77 Shadow Street. And you don't have to be a regular reader here to enter the book draw. Just leave a comment, saying that you would like to enter and I will draw a winner on Wednesday 4 February.


  1. Hello Maureen
    I would love to be entered in your giveaway - except it would be a fair way to send the book if I did happen to win it. So I'll pass on my chance to be a winner and be content to find it in our local library.
    Thanks for your recent comment on aging - I wasn't aware so many felt the same way. Not anymore though - didn't you know I'm giving old age the flick lol
    Take care

  2. Hi Cathy
    I'm going to enter your name in the draw. I do believe there is a way of getting mail from UK to Australia these days!

    It is good to know you are feeling better and I'll try that method of dealing with aging. Does it work any better than getting rid of all the mirrors in the house and moaning about aching joints?

  3. I haven't read any Dean Koontz but you make this sound very good, so please add me to the draw. Thanks, Maureen!


I love to read your comments and promise that I will reply as soon as I can leave my garden, sewing room or kitchen!