Some things are best left undisturbed...
In the countryside of Victorian England, Edward Atherton, rector of Thornham St. Stephen, has taken on the arduous task of restoring the ancient church. But he should never have meddled with the tomb that lay beneath the church's crumbling walls. The moment the workman raises the tomb lid, an unspeakable horror escapes. At a loss to explain the unsettling noises and frightening visions that begin to plague the church, Atherton calls upon fellow antiquarian and Cambridge professor Richard Asquith to help investigate the strange events that began in the wake of the tomb’s disturbance.
The two discover tantalizing hints of whom and what may have been laid to rest in the tomb, but the unforeseen circumstances force Asquith to give up his inquiries and leave the small village of Thornham behind. Asquith tries to put the frightening experiences behind him and focus on his new wife and family. But death and disappearances abound, and Asquith soon has no choice but to confront the darkness that has followed him from that ancient church into his own home.
English novelist Jonathan Aycliffe has mastered the classic English ghost story, and A Shadow on the Wall, nominated in 2000 for the International Horror Guild Award, is sure to both mesmerize and haunt you.
©2000 Jonathan Aycliffe, First Night Shade Books edition 2015 (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I truly enjoyed this story, even though I didn't find it particularly scary. The narrator did a good job though his french accent when using it could use some work. I found myself slightly bored during the first chapter, but quickly got caught up in the story, and listened to it in one straight session.
This was an excellent read. the narration was great and I found myself shivering as the story progressed. I hope audible will obtain all of Aycliffe's books, especially The Talisman. I like Aycliffe's book by that title more than King's.
Jonathan Aycliffe has crafted a beautifully written, vivid, persuasive, and ultimately disturbing story, perhaps reminiscent of the subtlety and verbal dexterity of English masters such as M.R.James. The story itself is intriguing and convincing for critical listeners; there are very few moments when one might consider suspending disbelief. Oddly, for a horror story, one comes to care so much for so many of the characters that I listened as eagerly for the outcomes of strained relationships and very human concerns and events as for the resolution of the haunting, which in itself is truly creepy and well drawn. Only one quibble with an event in the story, but it iwas minor and not worth deducting a point. The narrator read hypnotically well. He disappeared into the story, entranced and surrounded me in the world of the story. Bravo! Exceptional performance!
Listening to Roger's Clark's narration of this spooky story by Jonathan Aycliffe was like being back around the campfires of my youth listening to ghost stories. I listened to this book while on long walks and more than once was so absorbed that I forgot where I was. A couple of times I jumped when my concentration was interrupted by a passerby. Totally engrossing...
I love this story because it appeals to the imagination and the author does not try and wrap things up at the end with a logical explanation. He crafts enough ambiguity to leave the reader with a chill and perhaps expecting a sequel. Roger Clark's narration adds just the right tone to this Victorian-era ghost story.
My favorite character was the narrator, Asquith, a Cambridge professor who was open-minded enough to figure out the strange happenings in an old church even though he was a rational thinker and a skeptic. His vulnerability made him a particularly sympathetic character, especially when the late-breaking love of his life is threatened by evil. Most of us would have ignored the pleas of his fellow scholar Matthew Atherton who asked Asquith to investigate evil doings at the church, rather than put our lives and those of our loved ones at risk.
This book was certainly scary, a quality enhanced by the expert narration of Roger Clark. His professional rendering of the ghastly events was compelling, understated and suspenseful. I was thrust into the story immediately, forgetting that it was being read to me, but feeling like I was there. Clark's reading made the scholarship and frequent latin words embedded in the story interesting rather than dry.
A good ghost story, a perfect narrator, compelling characters and a gothic setting made "The Shadow on the Wall" a thoroughly entertaining experience.
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