Could have been a little darker…

Bellman & Black: A Ghost StoryBellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was suitably filled with a creepy dark aura.
There seemed to be a build-up in the story that never really led anywhere.
The story of the rooks was mystical and dark. I didn’t feel that the death of the rook was linked sufficiently to the ‘ghost’ or whatever it is that appears.
I was expecting the rooks to feature more strongly in the story. Instead the focus wanders off to Dora, which isn’t a bad thing except that stagnated also.
Indeed the story was a lot of neither here nor there and far from clear. If the author was trying to outsmart the reader by being overly cryptic or mixing in subliminal messages then that didn’t really work. Instead the story is bland and lacks the essence of darkness it started with.
What exactly is the deal Bellman makes? The deal leads to the construction of the building but the reader is never clear on the details of the deal. Was the fate of his daughter linked to the deal or was that the natural order of things. Was Bellman taught a valuable lesson with every loss? How is that connected to his actions as a child?
It was clear what the story should have been or where the author was headed but the execution of it lacked clarity.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews


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