There is an old, empty house in Devil's Cleave, a deep gorge that leads from the high moors down to the harbour village of Hollow Bay. The house is Crickley Hall and it's large and grim, somehow foreboding. It's rumoured to be haunted. It's thought to hold a secret. Despite some reservations, the Caleighs move in, searching for respite in this beautiful part of North Devon, seeking peace and perhaps to come to terms with what's happened to them as a family.
But all is not well with the house. They hear unaccountable noises. A cellar door they shut every night is always open again in the morning. They see things that cannot be real. The house is the last place the Caleighs should have come to, for the terror that unfolds is beyond belief. Soon they will discover the secret horror of Crickley Hall....
©2006 James Herbert (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The book should be called "The Secrets of Crickley Hall" as there is much to find out about this depressing and creepy vacation home. Herbert's dark and stormy night tale of tragedy and suspense is narrated perfectly by Rintoul. I found Rintoul's narration in some parts bordering on theatrical, I would score it as 4.5 if we could give half stars. The story has many layers which made it a "page turner" for me. Overall a great ghost story.
I don't seek out ghost stories too often -- nothing ever seems to equal Susan Hills's "The Woman in Black" -- the audiobook, not the film. Ghost stores just don't get any better than that. But this one comes close. I'm not sure why I decided to take a chance on it, but I like creepy old houses, especially if a ghost or two might linger, so that was probably it.
Glad I did -- I should have known this would be good. James Herbert also wrote "The Fog" and I remember reading that decades ago, and afterward, that book came to mind every single day when the tule fog overtook the Sacramento Valley and I had to navigate around in it. That's a seriously frightening book, too.
"Secrets" also has none of the things I don't like in a scary story, which is to say, I don't like stories that merge into science fiction. These are actual ghosts in this book -- real ghosts -- ha! -- not alien creatures or dragons or man-made monsters, or any of that sort of thing.
There are truly creepy moments aplenty -- although why people who are already unnerved by odd happenings decide to explore the basement is always beyond me, although I suppose if they didn't, there wouldn't be a book.
Special praise for the narrator, David Rintoul -- he must have burned up a thousand calories an hour narrating this. It's a high-energy narration, but in a good way. Just very well done.
Highly recommended. And three cheers for Chester -- a real trouper!
Love Horror and Sci-Fi. I enjoy historical romance
Touches every fear
The Haunted by Bickley Little
Tells of a tortured, purely evil soul bent on terrorizing it's occupants.
No I haven't heard any of his other performances but I truly enjoyed him in this book.
I did but it also wasn't too hard to put it down as needed, rewind it a little when I got a chance and finish it up.
I've read and enjoyed others, so maybe.
Probably a John Connolly mystery.
He was ok.
Oh, that is funny. The whole thing needs an editor to pare it down by half. It never seemed to end.
I love a good ghost story. Sadly, this isn't one. The characters are stupid waaaay past the point of disbelief. I felt smothered with foreshadowing that never really came to much. The only mystery here is why this story went on so long.
David Rintoul is an amazing narrator! Such an engaging listen. I will definitely seek out his books.
Can't wait for the BBC show!
Enthralling ghost story and a wonderful narrator. A definite "page turner, edge of your seat" kind of book. Loved it!
I really enjoyed this tale. The narration was awesome. Couldn't put down my earpiece kind of wonderful. Not gory, has great twists. Enjoy!
I listen to alot of Books. I mean ALOT of books. If I review it, it means it must have been worth it.
I listen to ALOT of books. Most are to just get through the day and have background noise, but this is really one of the better books I have ever listened to, as far as thrillers / mysteries go. Reader was perfect, and the book was long,18 hours or so, but the plot moved along as it should have. Overall, I am now a big fan of James Herbert.
The Caretaker of Crickley Hall. Because he's an animal lover. Very cool twist at the end of the book regarding the family dog, Chester.
Great English Accent.
If you like classic ghost stories this is a great one. Old spooky house, strange happenings, unexpected twists and turns, very talented Reader, how can you go wrong?
"evil wins when good men do nothing "quote
Well I couldnt stop listening till the end and thats a good book to me. Once I got over the annoying fathers attitude , but he came right after a while .There's alot of inner mind thinking by the characters which actually helps the story at first i thought it would hinder the flow of the book. A true ghost story with a good ending.
A young family transfers temporarily to an old foreboding house with a horrific history unbeknownst to them.Having their own fairly recent tragedy with the disappearance of their only son,the family decides maybe a new change of environment will help with the upcoming anniversary of their sons disappearance.Little did they know that the distraction they all get is not what they wanted and needed.The awful history of the old house come back to torment them.The mystery behind their sons disappearance turns out even more tragic but gives the family some closure,but during the grief of finding out their son had drowned in the local play yards pond,the evil in the house uses this opportunity of their grief to reak havoc with the family,but together with a psychic and the old gardener whose worked at Crickley Hall since that tragic time,they find a way to send the good souls to where they need to be and give them peace,the souls who were the tormentors will always have unrest,and so it's deserved.Good story,great narration.
You can learn as much from a terrible book as a brilliantly written one.
I first read Herbert's The Magical Cottage and was disappointed. Then I decided to try this book. I'm glad it did. Herbert does a good job in sustaining suspense throughout. At times it got a bit repetitive, but it doesn't really detract from the read.
The narrator is good, but does get bit too enthusiastic at times. This aside, he does a great job in adding to the tension and in depicting the different characters.
Perhaps the best thing about this book is how Herbert does not focus only on ghosts, but also on the capacity for human cruelty, which to me, is the real horror; there is a good balance between the two, which makes the story gripping.
If you're thinking of trying Herbert's work, this is a fantastic start.
This is the first book I have heard from this author. It won't be the last! Brilliantly read with the suspense getting more gripping by the minute. Great book! And thank you, Audible, for recommending it and putting it in the sale.
This is definitely one of James Herberts' better books and the narrator made the story come alive in way I haven't heard before. That was one of the most atmospherically read ghost stories I've ever come across. Even just the rain hitting the window was read moodily. This was shown on TV just after I finished listening to it and I couldn't bear to watch because I don't think they would have done as good a job as David Rintoul did. Will definitely be listening to this one again
As the title says, truly fabulous. I am almost never scared by books but this one truly did unnerve me. Herbert is a great great writer for the macabre and the twisted. the characters are great and the story is horribly brilliant, but Rintoul really brings this story to life with his voice acting, I only wish he had read more of Herbert's work.
"Great story, excellent narration!"
Really enjoyed listening to this book, and since it's not a genre I usually go for I'm glad I took a spin on it.
I found myself impatient to get back to the story whenever I had to stop listening which is the gold star on any book really. It is lovely and long, great pacing, interweaving lots of depth and contemplative back story in with very intense, present moments.
I absolutely LOVE David Rintoul as a narrator, he is so versatile and always seems to bring the book to life. I bought this book 70% on the strength of the narrator alone but will go and investigate some of the other books by the same author now I've heard it!
"Better than the TV Episode"
I downloaded this in excitement after enjoying the first episode on BB1 last night... Great stuff, it's really kept me on the edge of my (car) seat. In true keeping with James Herberts other books, Crickley is seriously spooky stuff.
Much better than the TV program, and gives it more depth and background if you are watching. Great audiobook, and great value at 18 Hours for one credit.
I bought this because I watched and enjoyed the tv series that was aired on the BBC.
As I would expect, I enjoyed the book/audiobook far more. I also think I enjoyed the audiobook far more than I would the written version. The narrator really made certain parts unnerving, perhaps mainly due to my fondness of laying in total darkness in an empty house whilst listening to horror books. But David Rintoul certainly brought the scenes with ghostly interaction to life and gave them an incredibly ominous feel.
Well worth a listen!
Fabulous story gripping could not stop listening would highly recomend to anyone to read or listen to James Herbert is a great writer
This was magnificant! I watched the story on telly many years ago, and I had forgotten this until the descriptive reading conjured up the images from the series.
This is a recommendation for both the author, the narrator and the BBC telly series adaptation.
Listen to this brilliant book and let it frighten and entertain you! You will be scared silly, especially if you listen to this late at night on your own, but you will not regret a minute of it!
"A beautifully read chiller"
The Secret of Crickley Hall is chilling, dark and cruel.
There are many haunted house stories but few of them are written with such psychological depth.
This is an addictive listen because David Rintoul reads this so beautifully and clearly voices each of the characters.
This beautifully read chiller taps into parents' deepest fears about cruelty to children and what it would be like for a child to go missing. The descriptive writing is excellent. Please can we have more unabridged James Herbert!
"A great listen"
After watching the tv drama I saw the book on audible and having credits I thought why not and to my surprise the book surpassed the series I had seen early. Spanning from beginning to end and very well narrated . Go on treat yourself it is worth it
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.