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The Sick House

The Ulrich Files, Book 1
Narrated by: Jake Urry
Series: The Ulrich Files, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (309 ratings)

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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

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thanks Ambrose, for the sleepless nights!

Creeping and atmospheric, dark and oddly sarcastic at times. Like no other occult thriller, with fully-developed, loveable and unlikeable characters. The narrator MAKES this book. Even for those who scoff at the supernatural - it will make that neck hair come to attention.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

very much enjoyed this audio book version. good murder mystery with twists and turns to keep you in the driveway long after you've parked!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A new favorite series!

I don't enjoy all books in the horror genre, but I've always enjoyed Jake Urry's narration, so I was curious enough to listen this one. I hope more books in the Ulrich Files series keeps coming!

There's not many characters in this book and we mostly follow Harlan Ulrich, a PI who is a lone wolf and doesn't like living creatures very much - people AND animals. I was amazed about how the author described Ulrichs mind and thoughts throughout the story and created a very likable character despite his flaws.

However, I could relate a lot to Ulrich, especially when we get his backstory all the way from his childhood traumas to this day. Ulrich is very reluctant when it comes to people, but sometimes he has to take a case to be able to eat and buy more coffee beans. He seems to live from day to day and he has a serious fear of bugs, that keeps him awake at night. I found myself laughing many times through the development of his character.

In the Ulrich files books we get a mix of mystery, thriller, horror and supernatural elements and everything is developed and described very vivid. Ulrich is on trial with his own mind here, because ghosts doesn't exist, do they? I would love to see these stories as movies, just to see if everything is like I imagined it.

Jake Urry was perfect in this narration and made Ulrich come to life for me. If a character makes me laugh out loud, it's not only the author, but the narrator as well. Jake knows his characters and did an amazing performance.

I've also listened to book 2 in this series and it's getting better!

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Lazy detective

Any additional comments?

This book was an odd listen. The narrator is good and I listened to this due to the sequel that I heard first. The story is good but the lazy detective kind of drive me crazy after while. Just a personal issue I guess. Interesting twists though.

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathren
  • Dayton, NV, United States
  • 08-17-16

Don't go near the Sick House - Only dead survive!

P.I. Harmon Ulrich is a fantastic character! What a hoot. Can't wait to be with him again. Creative and humorous. The story was entertaining and a seamless read. The narrator Jake Urry did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed this book and will wait in line for book #2.

I was gifted this book via Audiobook Boom in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Devilish Accord
  • 04-17-16

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol
  • 04-07-16

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Petra
  • 07-19-16

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki Goodwin
  • 07-14-16

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MeDi
  • 07-03-16

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!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan Carr
  • 03-01-19

very cool haunted house story.

the descriptions of the sick house were very tense but I think reading the book would have been scarier. the narrator didn't quite nail it. I did enjoy the story though and I will probably check out some more Urich files novels.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura Prime
  • Laura Prime
  • 07-26-16

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 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jim.a
  • 07-02-16

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 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 06-01-16

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • T
  • 08-17-17

This Narrator is Awful

I have listened to other books by this narrator and have been mildly irritated by his mispronunciation of words in particular with the letters o & u, This time however, I am unable to listen to the book as there are just too many words mispronounced. I appreciate its too do with accent/dialect but really, why would you choose this person to read this book? I have rewound chapters to listen again as I have found I am concentrating on the narrators ridiculous words instead of the actual story.................. I am hoping I can swap it for another book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful