Book Review: The Shift By Fiona Dodwell

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Michael White is a man desperate to escape his past. After tragedy costs him his job and marriage, he finds himself abandoned in a world of depression, loneliness and unemployment – until a new start working at a luxurious care home is offered.

But Hill Wood House isn’t like any other care home. What are the shadowy figures that follow Michael? What do they want? And beyond the paranormal, who is stalking Michael? Who is entering his home at night and leaving disturbing messages across his walls?

Can anyone ever really escape their past? Michael is about to go on a dark journey to uncover the truth behind what is haunting him – a truth that will wreak death and destruction to those Michael cares about.

17905872I loved this 45 chapter book. The opening line in the prologue, He leaned forward pressing his face close to her mouth and listened, waiting for breath that would not come, had me hooked. My other favorite lines: 1) Time isn’t the healer it’s promised to be. 2) “God you’re infuriatingly naive, Michael. I can’t decide whether it’s cute or annoying.” 3) It all looked so…normal, so real. Yet the thoughts of what had happened to him were floating persistently in his mind, vying for his attention.

This story gave me chills from start to finish. It was very creepy and frightening. The author did a wonderful job with dialogue and description. I could definitely see this as a blockbuster hit. My favorite suspense moments occurred when a guy wearing a clown mask stalked Michael. He was haunted by a ghost, no matter if he was at home or work. He worked in Hill Wood House, which was a facility that took care of disabled folks. Even his patients could see the black shadow following him. Spooky!

This suspense thriller was written in Michael’s third person point of view. He’s very protective of his sister, Amber, not getting along with her arrogant boyfriend. After a divorce, he’s feeling in a funk, but decides to start dating Sarah. I loved how the mystery of what happened at his first job was a running theme. This is VERY important. There’s a double twist that I didn’t see coming! It reminded me of my favorite John Cusak movie.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Banishing By Fiona Dodwell

One day I browsed through the Announcements section on Absolute Write, Fiona wrote that she had an interview on someone’s blog, so I clicked on the link.  I enjoyed the interview and found her book description interesting.

The only thing–it was horror.  I’m a huge scaredy cat, so when I watch scary movies, I cover my eyes a lot.  The background music warns me; when reading, there’s nothing to warn a reader about a frightening scene coming up, so I was hesitant to try this genre.  Getting over my fear, I’ve decided to try horror stories, and I’m loving it!

The Banishing is the fifth book of my reading challenge.  Here’s my thoughts:

When Melissa first notices the change in her husband–subtle at first–she thinks it may be the stress of moving into their new home.  Or working long hours.  But soon he turns into something far darker, far more sinister.

Who or what is the dark shadow living beneath her husband?  What is haunting him?

Melissa must quickly find the answer to these questions, because Mark is changing, and fast.  Soon her fight will be for her life, as well as for her marriage.

The Banishing is a dark, disturbing novel exploring the world of demonic possession, spiritual oppression, and domestic abuse.

This 34 chapter story reminded me of an Edgar Allan Poe creation.  I loved the creepiness of it all, and the way the author tended to repeat the same phrases in different ways back to back.  It worked because it showed Melissa being frightened, desperate, wondering if she was going insane.  This book is told through her point-of-view (third person narration).

I jumped a lot while reading–that’s how scared I was.  It was spooky the way the dark shadow appeared out of nowhere all the time.  I had two favorite scenes.  First, before Melissa enters her house, she sees the dark shadow standing by the window waiting for her; she was so brave for dealing with that.  Second, Melissa had a patient named Elsie, who died from a stroke.  That hit home for me because that was my grandma’s name and that’s how she died in the hospital in 2008.  I took a moment to recollect my thoughts, then BAM!!!  Elsie comes back from the dead to warn Melissa that she’s next!

I understand love and all that, but I wanted to knock some sense into these characters LOL.  I would have been out of that house so fast.  And, if someone told me disturbing things were happening at their place, I would listen, investigate, etc.  I wouldn’t let them keep suffering because they said they’ll take care of it.  If my husband beat me, I would say adios and keep it moving.  Forget love conquers all LOL.

I enjoyed when Melissa found out the reasoning behind everything–like going to the library to research, and visiting the psych ward to find answers.  I love mysteries.

It was a fast read, and the ending was perfect.  I was like ‘oh no, she didn’t.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book, please visit:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby