In the Dark of the House, the review

In the Dark of the House, the review

In the Dark of the House

Macabre by Sperling & Kupfer has brought to bookstores something that has actually been missing for too long: a series dedicated to the world of horror literature, with new authors for our country that go beyond those classic names that identify themselves as the only choice on the shelves of libraries. The real surprise was seeing the publication of the third volume of the series, in order of release after Prede and Il Banditore, with two Italian authors who have nothing to envy to their international colleagues. Nel Buio della Casa, co-written by Fiore Manni and Michele Monteleone is a ghost story that packs a perfect blend of classic elements, relying on ineluctable emotions for lovers of the genre and more. If you want to find out what happened to Noah and Allison and do not fear those eyes that look at you hidden in the dark, you can continue reading ...

In the Dark of the House ... "and who will you call?"

Noah and Allison are a happy couple who, together with their little son, have just moved into a new home, in order to realize what everyone calls the "American dream". A large house, a mansion surrounded by greenery just waiting to be inhabited by a happy family like theirs. But unfortunately, the building already has tenants, obscure presences that will reserve unexpected tragedies ... especially from the first pages of this all-Italian novel. Yes, because the story composed by Manni and Monteleone already begins with what would seem a tragic epilogue: the death of Allison, that of her son Michael and the discovery of a "seal" drawn on the walls of the house that transformed it into a prison. for ghosts.

But who is the creator of this seal?

Noah will try to track who or what destroyed his life, what denied him the irreplaceable love of his woman, even if this seems to be eternal thanks to a sort of "surrogate" . In fact, Allison has not made a complete "passing away", but has become a ghost who follows and supports her husband Noah in all possible ways, forming an original duo of "ghostbusters".

The strange couple, in fact, Searching for haunted houses like theirs, they discover other "seals" which, once removed, restore peace to the homeowners and also to the ghosts who are released from captivity. This is Noah and Allison's mission: to bring some of that peace that was denied them and discover the author of the seals, which they have renamed as the Architect.

An authentic ghost story , which crosses a tormented love story with horror outlines, unfolding along two temporal windows. In fact, given the incipit that suggests the events of the death of Allison and her son Michael, the story sheds light on the details of the story by alternating chapters dedicated to the year 2015, that of the tragedy, with those of 2019 protagonists of the ghost hunt. implemented by Noah with the help of Allison's ghost.

Despite some elements that recall some stereotypes of the genre, the story is pressing, the revelation of the dynamics following the two temporal tracks encourages the reader to discover, also giving a lot of space to the characterization of the characters. Noah is determined, despite his personal sense of abandonment and neglect, seems to be moving forward in his mission partly out of a sense of justice, but also to feel closer to his wife's new ectoplasmic nature. Allison is a woman who retains many adolescent characters, she seems to work very well with Noah, both in life and in death (therefore as a ghost), showing a solid couple beyond all obstacles.

Throughout the story, following a non-linearity of the events, the couple is transformed in many different ways, but the bond that is palpable even by the reader remains strong, thanks to an exquisite characterization, to the point of missing them once they arrive at the end that is not at all obvious. This was possible thanks to the evident will of the two authors in wanting to reproduce two absolutely normal characters, which could be any of us.

Ghosts aside, we mean.

In tune with the great classics

Fiore Manni and Michele Monteleone have shown extraordinary cohesion in the style of prose, making the reader forget the actual four-handed production. The stylistic solutions are simple and effective, with an essential descriptive language focused on the action of the protagonists.

The events of the story are neatly pigeon-holed in a narrative mosaic that traces classic and typical structures of other international authors, however , perhaps being aware of Allison and Michael's fate right away made the 2015 timeline less captivating, while still being full of surprises and questions about "how" and "why". For example, we found original the choice of "prisons" and the motivations that lead ghosts to be more or less aggressive with the tenants of the house.

There are some elements that work very well, which we would dare to identify as authentic "jump scare" on paper (often used at the end of the chapters dedicated to the time span of 2015) of great effect. To decline a more markedly horror cut, we would have liked an approach more in line with these elements, given that the novel would have allowed it.

The work done by the authors strongly wants to represent that we also have pens in Italy worthy of this genre. Or at least, the potential is certainly there, net of a clear distance from naked and raw horror. In fact, the genre position suffers due to those expectations that could betray those who expect a story more in line with the previous volumes of the series.

The book is presented in a well-made print, thread binding thread, hard cardboard cover, ivory paper and that beautiful red coloring on the thread of the pages, already present in the first two publications of this Macabre series by Sperling & Kupfer.

As already said, Nel Buio della Casa remains a beautiful love-ghost story, if we can define it that way, with the persistence of some dark elements that however will not disturb the reading of lovers of different genres, indeed it could even make them discover an unexpectedly engaging vein and bring them closer to new readings.

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