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The Sick House Audiobook

The Sick House: The Ulrich Files, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Some Places Should Stay Abandoned....

Dr. Siegfried Klein has vanished on a mysterious pilgrimage to an abandoned infirmary in the ghost-town of Moonville. The locals in the surrounding areas are tight-lipped, hostile to outsiders. Local legend has it that the old Sick House is packed with spirits, none of them friendly, and that to set foot in it is to enter Hell itself.

Enter Harlan Ulrich, private investigator and skeptic.

Traveling to the site, the detective begins the long process of separating truth from grisly local myth, and during his investigation stumbles upon certain frightful evidence that tries his nerve. He wants to find the doctor in one piece and weathers the hostilities of the locals even as their stories keep him up at night. But the longer he spends in the ghost town of Moonville, the more he feels the influence of something sinister in the shuttered infirmary.

When finally the truth is revealed and the infirmary's sordid past comes to light, will Ulrich manage to escape with his life?

©2016 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2016 Ambrose Ibsen

What Members Say

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  •  
    Sandra L. Almo LONEDELL, MO, US 04-28-16
    Sandra L. Almo LONEDELL, MO, US 04-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Grossly Enjoyable Reading"

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Sick House. It caught my attention very early into the book, for some reason. I think perhaps I could relate to the P.I.'s character, which seldom happens. The story was not overly gruesome and had the right amount of suspense along with some humor and notable characters. I look forward to reading more books by A. Ibsen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie @ BookLoversLife 05-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "So good!!"

    When Dr. Siegfried Klein goes missing, Harlan Ulrich, a P.I., is asked to take the case. He accepts it gladly as business is slow, and anyway, how hard can a missing persons case be?? Quite hard actually!!!

    I have to start off by saying that this is a case of never judging a book by it's cover!! Initially, when I first saw this and saw the title, I thought this would be gorey and intense horror, but I read some of the reviews and decided to give it a go, and I'm so glad I did because I ended up loving it!!

    Ulrich was a slow burn, and by that I mean that it took a little for him to shine. At the start he seems very grumpy and not a very nice man, but the author slowly let's us see exactly who he is and by the end I grew to love the character. I was rooting for him and hoping everything turned out ok!!

    The plot was well developed and fairly fast paced. The Sick House was such a creepy setting and learning and discovering the history of the place just made it worse!! While it's a horror, it is always a really good mystery. In order for Ulrich to figure out what happened to the Doctor, he has to figure out about The Sick House first. I couldn't figure out the ending myself!!!

    In all, this was a surprisingly good read and one I'd recommend. The author has captured my attention with his descriptive writing and captivating characters. I will definitely check out more by him and can't wait to read the next book in this series.

    Wow, Jake Urry was brilliant. He has a very distinctive voice and is able to bring the story alive. He captured the tone of the book perfectly and made the whole experience creepier. He was easy to listen to and knows how to perform!!

    I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad B. New York 08-15-16
    Tad B. New York 08-15-16 Member Since 2015

    I love audio books.

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    "The best kind of spooky fun!"
    Any additional comments?

    The Sick House is some good old fashioned paranormal fun. A mystery wrapped up in a ghost story, this tale will keep you listening. Jake Urry gives a fabulous performance, bringing each character to life and making every moment interesting. I would recommend this book to my horror loving friends!

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate Jenks 08-08-16
    Nate Jenks 08-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    "This guy knows how to paint a picture with words"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Sick House to be better than the print version?

    I always enjoy listening to a book. Having a narrator who knows how to really keep things creepy makes it more enjoyable to me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sick House?

    To me the most memorable moments is when you are first introduced to the sick house. The words were used in such a way as to really put across a feeling of primal fear that you know can only come from a place with the kind of history that the sick house does.


    Which character – as performed by Jake Urry – was your favorite?

    The main character by far. I don't know why, but Jake can really pull off the "I don't want to deal with people but I have to" character. He really just brought Ulrichs character to life for me.


    If you could take any character from The Sick House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Definitely Ulrich, I would only have to get him some coffee and with his sort of personality I wouldn't have to talk too much, because let's face it, I'm probably not smart enough for him to want to talk to me.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sidhecat 05-09-16
    sidhecat 05-09-16
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    "Great story and narration!"

    I enjoyed this spooky tale so much I immediately bought another audible book by the same author and narrator!

    It was spooky without being gory.

    Excellent ghost story, and they are hard to find these days as I thought I had read most of the really good ones out there.

    The lead character doesn't seem likable at first but by the end, I was in complete sympathy with him.

    I also have to agree that there is little on earth that a great cup of coffee and listening to Sinatra can't make better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bel 05-12-17
    Bel 05-12-17

    Audio book addict, spending a fortune on this passion. ;)

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    "Creepy!"

    Harlan Ulrich is an unsuccessful, lazy private investigator. He doesn't like his clients, he is bored to tears with the cases that come his way --mainly observations of cheating spouses.
    Enter Jerome, the nephew of Dr. Klein who has gone missing in the Sick House near a small place called Moonville.
    Ulrich doesn't want this job, but he needs money, not least to be able to buy special coffee, which is his passion.
    Payment arranged, he sets out to search for the missing doctor.
    The inhabitants of Moonville are very hostile, and the Sick House has a very bad reputation.
    Soon, Ulrich feels watched and haunted, and he doubts what he experienced, but is inclined to go back home. However, he is too curious and too proud to drop the case, and so he returns to the Sick House to find all his nightmares come true.

    My thoughts:
    Ulrich isn't a very likeable main protagonist, but I rooted for him. Maybe all his shortcomings are what makes him so very convincing. The story is creepy, the whole atmosphere be it in the Sick House itself, or in Moonville, makes you want to run. However, the author doesn't drown you in gory stuff, at least not too much. The ending is satisfying. You can choose what you want to believe -- the creepy horror, or the scientific explanation.

    This was the first time I strayed into the horror genre since I read IT (by Stephen King) decades ago and had nightmares for ages (and don't remind me of The Silence of the Lambs, which I saw on the big screen). However, when I saw that Jake Urry was the narrator, I decided to give it a go. I didn't regret it. In my opinion, Jake Urry was the perfect choice for this story. I can't really describe it, but his voice seems to lend itself for creepy stuff (though I'm convinced he's just as good at whatever genre he chooses to read).
    I'll certainly follow this series up by listening to the next file.

    Disclaimer: I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 05-04-17
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 05-04-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Not gory as I feared based on the cover art"

    Harlan Ulrich is a private investigator and he’s just about out of coffee. He needs a case that will pay well enough to make rent and replenish his kitchen. Dr. Klein has gone missing and his friend has already checked all the usual possibilities. He needs a professional to investigate. So Ulrich is off to the small town of Moonville, Dr. Klein’s last known location.

    This was a dark piece of fiction that kept me entertained. It wasn’t a gore fest, which I was concerned about due to the cover art. There was some descriptive scary bits here and there but it wasn’t gratuitous. Ulrich is an interesting character. With a name like Harlan Ulrich, how could he not be? He has this coffee fetish that keeps coming up throughout the story. The quality of the coffee really affects his mood and I can understand that. I say better no coffee than bad coffee.

    Set in mostly in Moonville, Ohio, the folks are small-town minded. They like to keep their town secrets and while curious about outsiders, they aren’t jumping to open up about the past. Ulrich has to do some digging to learn about the Sick House, which was an infirmary run by nuns and was shut down some decades ago. Dr. Klein once worked there and Ulrich makes a visit to the run down place. What he finds gives him the creeps and he’s hesitant to return a second time.

    Mysterious notes follow and he finds a person who once worked there that can shed some light on the past. Here is the one weak spot in the plot. Once a certain character is brought up, it really becomes clear what happened so the rest of the book is just watching Ulrich piece it together and find evidence. It was still an entertaining read. I really didn’t know if Ulrich would fall prey to some supernatural entity and have to make a run for it (there’s at least 3 books in the series, so I know he lives) or perhaps burn the place down. So that was exciting to see how the author would wrap things up in a way that leaves Ulrich and his travel coffee mug free to do PI stuff another day.

    The ending was a satisfying one. Old wrongs are acknowledged and some things are set to rights. The mystery of the missing Dr. Klein is neatly wrapped up. I look forward to Book 2!

    I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

    The Narration: Jake Urry has a mesmerizing voice. I really do like it but here I have to give him a B for final product even as I give him an A for effort. He has an English accent that he does a pretty good job of tucking away for this Ohio based story. Yet sometimes there are certain words that get a very distinct English accent. Still, even with this, I really liked his voice for Ulrich. He has a rich deep voice that can gripe about bad coffee or show fear in the face of some paranormal unknown. Urry also did a great job with keeping his character voices distinct and his female voices were pretty good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay 05-02-17
    Kay 05-02-17
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    "An Overlooked Gem"

    This was a surprisingly wonderful listen. I think a lot of people will miss out on this story. If you base your choices on the number of reviews/listens before deciding if it is something you may be interested in, you may overlook some very entertaining stories. The narrator was great. I throughly enjoyed his voice throughout the story. It certainly didn't feel like I had listened to a 6 hour book. I will look forward to more of this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ali - The Dragon Slayer 05-02-17
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    "Worth it for the narration!"
    What did you love best about The Sick House?

    It is intensely creepy and very descriptive, at times a little too in depth and I found myself drifting until that segment was over. It is very easy to imagine being in the dank, dark tunnels of the house, yet again my ‘phobia’ was challenged with the ‘damp, furry bodies of the rats’ as they crawl around. That was enough to make me cringe!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sick House?

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was the quality of the narration that made it so enjoyable. Imagine all the late night horror movies, scary books, Halloween etc all rolled into one and that nowhere near portrays the talent of Jake Urry. His voice is gravelly, chilling, atmospheric yet keeps the listener absolutely riveted and desperate to continue. The shivers went up my spine as soon as he read the title!!


    Have you listened to any of Jake Urry’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first experience of Jake Urry, I'm already downloading another one. An incredible talent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Pray you don't become sick!


    Any additional comments?

    The cover of this looks so gruesome that I was immediately curious! I’m actually participating in the blog tour for the third book in the series so to get me up to speed I wanted to read one and two. The Sick House is the first where we are introduced to Ulrich the private investigator. He is an unfathomable character at the outset but once the layers are unpeeled and his character is revealed he is a sturdy straight talking guy. He is tired of the usual husband/wife suspecting an affair cases so when the opportunity arises to locate a missing doctor he dives straight in.

    Ulrich sets out to unearth what happened to the doctor, amidst ghoulish tales and local hostility it makes for a suspenseful story set in an incredibly dark spooky deserted ‘hospital’ originally run by nuns.

    Excellent performance which brought an otherwise ‘ordinary’ story to life. I am now going to listen to book two.

    Thanks to Jess at An Audiobookworm for the copy which I reviewed voluntarily.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wisconsinclark Houlton, Wisconsin, US 03-24-17
    wisconsinclark Houlton, Wisconsin, US 03-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Good Old-fashioned Ghost Story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sick House the most enjoyable?

    No exaggerated gore, classy scary writing


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is the second in the series, and it left me wanting more


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Sure, if I had the time


    Any additional comments?

    Narration by Jeff Urry was the perfect choice

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Devilish Accord
    4/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly Engaging 1st Audio Book"
    Would you listen to The Sick House again? Why?

    Yes, I'll be listening again in the future. Highly engaging story with a plot that continues to deliver and build right until the final chapter.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ulrich, the PI and main character, is of course the favourite. He's a flawed and somewhat lonely man, yet with a passion he himself underestimates.


    Have you listened to any of Jake Urry’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This is my first audiobook and thus my first listen to Jake's narration. I will certainly be visiting the store very soon to sample more of his work. Very happy!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    With coffee, living is less of a problem.


    Any additional comments?

    Jake Urry's narration is crips and clear, with a good steady tone and with a proper spoken English accent that is easy on the ear.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Carol
    4/7/16
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    "A gripping dark tale with many twists and turns"
    What does Jake Urry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    This narrator is one of my favourites, his gritty, solemn tone is perfect for this book. The character voices are well done and amusing at times, and the story is brought to life very vividly by this great voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I liked the main character, Ulrich, in general and felt for him as he moved through the plot. I hope there will be a series following this as I feel there is a lot of potential to find out more about him.


    Any additional comments?

    Dark, gripping and really well read, I'd reccommend to any horror lovers and keep my fingers crossed for a sequel!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Laura Prime
    Crewe, United Kingdom
    7/26/16
    Overall
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    "The sickest house I've ever visited."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this audio to certain members of my friends and family, its exciting , thrilling and in some parts sickening. it brings your heartbeat up and anxiety levels. your imagination can run wild with the characters because they are sturdy , well described and rich language is used to keep your mind on the characters.


    What other book might you compare The Sick House to, and why?

    I would compare it to Silence of the lambs, both of them give you that nauseous feeling as you 'walk' into the buildings. Also some of the characters could be matched to thise in that film.


    What about Jake Urry’s performance did you like?

    I liked Jake Urry's performance he put guts into the parts where it needed it , his dark deep voice put the horror feeling into the rooms, cars and wherever he was. i felt he really enjoyed the performance and tried really hard to make it feel gruesome, He succeeded !!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have liked to have listened to it in one go but I listened to it at night and you can't hear it with your head under a pillow!!  


    Any additional comments?

    Only One, Jake's performance was great but sometimes he seemed not to be able to get his voice out of character' by that i mean if there was a line 'he drove up the road' it would still sound like he had a menacing voice instead of just saying 'he drove up the road. it did change a little towards the end. but something to look at :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Petra
    7/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Creepy paranormal mystery without too much gore"

    The Sick House used to be an infirmary run by nuns but it has lain abandoned since the 1950s. Doctor Siegfried Klein got called out to this deserted place and then vanished. Private Investigator Harlan Ulrich is hired to look into the doctor's disappearance.
    This was quite a creepy paranormal suspense story. Don't be put off by the cover, I was expecting a lot of blood and gore, but there wasn't. The horror elements are mainly created by means of detailed and very vivid imagery of surroundings and moods in the vein of traditional stories of haunted houses.
    The author took great care to develop his protagonist, PI Harlan Ulrich, fully. It took me a little while to warm up to him as he came across as a bit of a grumpy old man, but his dogged determination is quite admirable and his obsession with coffee quite funny.
    The story itself took a while to get going too but turned into a really engaging, clever murder mystery with supernatural undertones.
    The narration of the audio book was thoroughly fitting for the story. I loved the way Jake Urry made the story sound truly sinister and eerie by skillful use of emphasis, intonation, and pace. The voices he used for the different characters were distinct and believable. It's the first story narrated by Jake Urry that I've listened to that is set in the US and he succeeded in making it sound authentic. His narration is fantastic for these dark and menacing stories. It definitely adds to the experience.
    I received the audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Vicki Goodwin
    winchester, Kentucky
    7/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Creepy and Chilling Great Narration"

    This Horror story is grimly good. It is creepy and hearing it through my headphones, those voices ringing in my ears? intense!

    The narrator, Jake Urry, has the best voices for the characters. the men all sound sinister when they should and sound intelligent and he has a large amount of accents. I love his depiction of women. Such emotion and he is able to capture all ages of the characters. For narration I can only give 5 stars.

    I give the book a solid 5 stars because it was chilling and the mystery is consuming.
    The writing is great. The wording keeps you involved. Some of the descriptions were so involved, I could almost hear his chair creaking as he swiveled back and forth in thought. I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • med c
    7/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book 1"
    Have you listened to any of Jake Urry’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have a couple of books read by him, he is a good narrator


    Did The Sick House inspire you to do anything?

    THE SICK HOUSE absolutely blew me away It has horror plus implacability, a feckless antihero P.I., a really evil villain, and multiple breathtaking frights. , I'm eager for the next!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jim.allott
    7/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Challenges your own perception of fear"

    A riveting read taking you into the realms of realistic horror, the spider we won't touch the dark house we won't enter.
    I enjoyed the experience but found it a little predictable and direct to its conclusion, but was happy at the end game and wasn't left with that come one it can't end like this feeling. Well worth a read.
    Jake Urry again takes you into the roll narrating with true professionalism and an artist passion. Well done. Jim

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Melanie Preston Lewis
    London
    5/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Liked the story, loved the narration"
    Any additional comments?

    A great story which moves along at a brisk pace and certainly kept me interested. The highlight though has to be the narration, which made a great story really come alive and had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up in all the right places. Highly recommend a listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • TerryHeth
    2/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spooky"

    A spooky story with atmospheric narrator Jake Urry.
    The house has something going on and the PI has to investigate a missing person. Very weird happenings and a really good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    Havant, United Kingdom
    6/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't believe his protagonist reads Chandler"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes.
    Three problems stood out for me with this book.
    The first was something I can only think of as reverse motivation. Why is Ulrich a private investigator when he clearly hates the job, and doesn't appear to have much aptitude for it? It's not as if he considers other possible employment, Why does he go to so much effort to turn down what he assumes will be routine work when he's already behind on the rent? Philip Marlowe comes across as a world-weary worldly-wise cynic who gets on with it; Ulrich comes across as a lazy idiot. Why does Ulrich decide to go the extra mile for a town that has treated him so shabbily? And - trying to avoid spoilers here - Ulrich (and the author) seems to have a very strange idea of what constitutes positive identification.
    Secondly, it is a useful technique in detective stories to sum up the events so far; freshly reminded of the various events, the reader is prepared for the next big development, which is probably going to be the denouement. Unfortunately, Ambrose Ibsen sums up the events so often that it feels as if a good hour of this already short book is taken up with summary. At least once the summing up occurred so soon after the actual event that I shouted, "Yes I know, I was there!"
    The final problem is that there just isn't that much to the story. It's not a long book, but I expected a bit more.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The changes I suggested above were to make it less enjoyable?


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Give him better material, I suppose. He was okay, though some of his pronunciation seemed a bit odd - "look" sounding like "luck" for instance.


    Could you see The Sick House being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    A straight to DVD film, probably. (For some reason I wanted to put "straight to VHS"!)


    Any additional comments?

    Despite my largely negative comments, the book is moderately entertaining, and funny in places. I particularly like the fact that although the reader suspects it's going to be a supernatural story, and indeed there is a certain Lovecraftian feel quite early on, it could go either way.
    I may well get the next one in the series when it comes out.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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