The Nursery by Bill Thompson (The Bayou Hauntings #3)

The nursery

The Nursery by Bill Thompson

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Published on: December 1st 2018

Series: The Bayou Hauntings

Book #3

Purchase from: Amazon AU/Amazon UK/ Amazon US

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Ascendente Books, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Landry Drake is an investigative journalist and ghost hunter. He crosses paths with a young woman called Callie Pilantro when he wishes to learn more about her haunted house and the ghost that she lives with. Callie, however, is not interested in sharing her story, or her spirit’s. She does have a lead though, a close friend of hers, architect Jordan Blanchard has recently purchased a house called The Arbors in St. Francisville, Louisiana, and he’s been experiencing some strange things. Landry decides to approach Mr. Blanchard about his happenings, but is shot down rather fiercely, Jordan has twin daughters who are 8 years old and does not want the publicity that Landry’s work will no doubt bring down upon the Arbors. However, as things start to ramp up and the strange happenings begin to get stranger, Jordan is left with nothing else to do besides start investigating the history of the house, and the strange recluse woman who lived their prior. The woman who made stipulations in her will that the house was not to be sold until she’d been dead 50 years, and that the locked room on the second floor is never to be disturbed. What will become of Jordan and his daughters?

When I originally requested this, I was SO excited because I absolutely LOVE a good haunted house ghost story. I was disappointed though when I realised it didn’t send to my kindle, at least, that’s what I thought. It had actually been sent to my kindle under a different name so sat there for AAGGGEESSS, before I realised it was actually there. So here we are. I powered through this story, as I said, I love a good haunted house story, and this one was enjoyable. I also found that it could be read as a standalone story. I did have a couple of issues with it though…

The narrative was very monotonous and clinical. There didn’t appear to be a flow as the story was more telling than showing, if I’m honest it was ALL telling, there was no showing in Thompson’s prose at all. Things didn’t really ‘lead’ anywhere so to speak, one paragraph the character is thinking of doing something, and the next they’re doing it. There wasn’t any story telling, at least for me there wasn’t, it was all very blocky and ‘this thing happened and Joe is thinking about this. Now Joe is doing the thing. Now this is happening. Then this happened’ it was very…I’m honestly not even sure of the word I’m looking for, I guess monotonous is the best term for it, for lack of a better word. This did detract from the story a bit for me, in the first half odd of the book anyway. By around half way through, I’d become used to the clunky story explaining so it didn’t jar me out of the story as much.

Dialogue was also given a weird treatment here. You have your normal dialogue between characters denoted by the ” ” signs, but then halfway through a conversation at times, the dialogue would switch to being told by the narrative, instead of being carried out in conversation by the characters we were simply told what the response or statement was. I found this an odd quirk of Thompson’s writing, but as I said, once I got used to it it didn’t jar me out of the story that much, though I can’t say I’m a big fan of the writing style of the piece, it just didn’t gel well for me.

The story itself was incredibly well thought out. At first I thought that we would be following Landry’s investigation, however the story was told mostly from Jordan’s side of things, I won’t say point of view as the story is written in third person, not first, but we see most of the happenings from Jordan’s side. It does switch between other characters here and there which I found didn’t jar me out of the story and it wasn’t hard to follow what was happening or who’s side we were seeing things from. The mystery was incredibly well done, and I take my hat off to Thompson who was able to create an eerie, well thought out mystery, and not just one mystery, there is two and I didn’t even realise until a character pointed something out. I’m not going to go into detail because I found it a lovely twist that added a bit of spice to the story and complimented it nicely.

The characters are written well enough, they each have an individual voice and distinctive personality, but I’m just not too sure that I enjoyed the character of Jordan as much as I possibly should have. When he finds out who Landry is, the first time they actually meet, he is abrasive, brash, rage filled, and rude, I understand that he doesn’t want his daughters in the spotlight, but I found his character flaw was massive anger management issues, he flew off the handle so easily that at times he was a hard character to like. I found that Thompson wrote the thoughts and actions of the 8 year old twins well, the thought patterns that were expressed and the worry over things was well executed and believable for the character’s age. The characters weren’t stand out amazing, but they were well written enough that it made for an enjoyable enough story.

All in all, this story probably didn’t live up to my expectations, I thought I would have enjoyed it more. However, the story did drag me in and keep me turning those pages in order to find out what was going to happen next. Not a stand out star of a read, but definitely a page turner and enjoyable enough once you get past the telling prose and odd dialogue choices.

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