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The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

Order from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.comThe Night Strangers: A Novel

Imagine yourself a pilot of a passenger aircraft, a trip you have made hundreds of times something that you become so used to doing. On one occasion you are the captain of a particular plane and not far from landing to your destination, mid-air suddenly a flock of Geese hit your turbines and all driving power is lost of the aircraft. It nose dives and time is everything with no possibility of landing the plane safely on solid ground the only place to land is the stretch of sea beneath you. What can you do? Your best chance is to try to land safely on the sea, which is not something you have been trained for due to being a procedure of a rare occurrence.
It all ends devastatingly bad and the plane hits the water with deadly speed and impact, all is lost 39 people die and you survive. It great to survive but with the guilt of the dead on your shoulders you wish you were the 40th. The aftermath of this disaster comes with many sleepless nights and nightmares; you are bombarded with images in your mind and the press and newsreels showing the incident. The families only have you to blame as the pilot. This all becomes too much for you and you decide to uproot your wife and twins from the city to a village in New Hampshire and escape to a old home near the woods. This village was to be your escape from the city but proves to become an even more greater challenge and struggle to what you just tried to leave behind. With a close knit community where everyone knows your business and there are no secrets, you wish that you never stepped foot on its soil.
The new home the place that was to be your solace, turns out to have a strange hatch door in the basement with 39 bolts sealing the door closed, yes that is 39 bolts as in 39 dead in the airplane incident and if that is not freaking you out enough your twins love the greenhouse which you discover has had a shady past of being used to grow some strange herbs that a group of Shamans have been growing and using and seem to be still living in the village. The nightmares you tried to leave behind becomes ever so worse with noises that go bump in the night.

The author puts you in a really tense atmosphere of fear in this story that flows so well, you will be hooked and read through the pages in no time at all. This is a page turning psychological tale of the highest caliber as the author takes you into the minds of the pilot, his wife, twins and the shamans. A harrowing story that has the makings of a classic horror story just right for October!

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 05 October 2011

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