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The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor

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The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor is an atmospheric and easy read – I would say perfect for a holiday. I really enjoyed the setting and loved the factual insights about hauntings and ghosts.

I would say that some bits were a bit cheesy – particularly the “romance”. It’s not the most memorable or outstanding book however, I do believe there is a place for it and I did enjoy it.

Would like a second book!

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DNF - I applaud Drotos for putting in the work towards realizing the completion of his first book; that's awesome! However, somewhere along the line, a diligent editor was needed to lend a legitimate helping hand with ensuring that this book was smoothly written. I appreciate that written texts will not succeed for every reader but, this book read like a first draft rather than something that was on the cusp of publication & this is a great disservice to the idea behind the work.

The vernacular that was employed throughout this book was incredibly simplistic. This is not something that is innately bad, however, the utilization of 'strange' (for example) in a redundant fashion stripped the power behind what I can only assume, was the weight that the author hoped for it to hold. Stephen is meant to come across as bizarre & a tad unhinged; simply stating that he is 'strange' several times in a couple of pages does nothing to enhance the feeling that this person is viewed as off-their-rocker because they can see literal ghosts.

So much of what was written circled the same ideas over & over again. For example, we are told the same things repeatedly without anything else in between these sentences -- anything else that might lead the reader to lose track of the forward movement of the plot & necessitate a reminder. Specific examples of this can be found while Stephen is walking around the 'nightclub'. By the time we see the renovations, we have been told that the town is undergoing renovations to rejuvenate the area over three (3) times. This is not necessary & reads as forgetful on the part of the author. Another example of this is when Stephen is in the Funeral Home as a young person & describes the shadow people surrounding the candle twice in quick succession.

An editor could have put forth some suggestions that would leave this book feeling tighter & more riddled with suspense. As it stands the writing reads like a 1970s low-budget horror. If this was the intent, that's great, it has found success. However, this leads me to my next point--there is no timeline & therefore the story floats in the abyss of time & is unstable in its timeline.

When Stephen & his friends are at Demaine's they reference a full monologue from Charlton Heston's 1968 version of "The Planet of the Apes". Can we say that these children were in their teens in 1968, or possibly 1970 if we wanted to be generous? Therefore, when are the present-day events transpiring? Stephen is 24 yet he speaks about the internet & technology being an active part of everyone's lives. The internet was invented in 1983 & made public in 1993. This is not necessarily revelatory of a person in the 90s as not everyone had access to personal computers nor the internet, for that matter. The Dean references cable television being something that the younger generation is actively watching which dates his speech pattern significantly to someone who would have been born in the 30s/40s as it is distanced enough from the current generation to sound off-putting when spoken yet, what he is saying does not leave one with any certainty of when this story is taking place.

Though it does not necessarily need to be indicated that the year is 19... or 20... the fact that no year is indicated leaves the dialogue feeling rather forced & empty. Why would someone be referencing a 1968 film? Why would someone be referencing the internet as a commodity when it became commonplace late in the 90s, almost well into the 2000s? I understand that leaving this aspect to be ambiguous removes the reader's ability to gauge what is authentic in the presentation of future events & what is not. but, it is frustrating & disjoints the story, nonetheless.

My final point would be to say that editing would enhance the dialogue spoken. Very rarely do people speak in full form. That is to say, people do not often say: "I am happy" they would say "I'm happy". This is particularly true for young adults & those speaking with those with whom they are very close (i.e. Stephen & Ted).

This might be attributed to the time period, gauging from the math, that this story awkwardly takes place in 1978, assuming that Stephen was born in 1954, making him 14 at the time of the release of the 1968 film. Therefore, should this be relied upon to tie the characters to a year, it is working. However, if Drotos was simply writing in full-form English to reflect fully formed, proper sentences, the mark has been missed. The dialogue reads like a quick script. There is no authenticity between the exchanges of both inner monologues & shared dialogue.

All this to say that with proper editing & diligent revision, this could be a wonderful story. My reasons for not finishing this book are as listed above as well as the fact that I did not want to push through a book that has the opportunity to be positively altered to reflect its true potential & girth, only to leave a 1-star review on public social sites. This would be unkind.

I hope to see this book stripped of its slow-moving dialogue; redundant explanations; detailed observations of the obvious (we do not need a full paragraph explaining what a Ouija board is); further pressure on the tension that resides in the two main character's abilities to see the supernatural surrounding them & a quicker arrival at what ties them together to explore what will certainly be the things that plagued them in the past.

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I found the character's internal monologue to be weirdly written as if it was for an audience, especially Evelynn's.

The narration was way too disjointed at times or way too detailed. Absolutely no in between. The same thing was mentioned multiple times in the same chapter - that it was cold in a certain room. Mostly telling stuff and not enough showing

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I wanted to read this in one sitting so bad! The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor by Mark E. Drotos was a thrill ride from beginning to end. I could not put this book down. From the first page it grabs you and won't let go. All the characters are relatable and you feel like you know them. Stephan, Evelynn, Robb and John are great. I love how this author throws in a little humor here and there. I love to read horror like this and have become accustomed to a lot of it but this book actually gave me the creeps at times (well done, I'm impressed). I wanted to reach the end and find out what happened but at the same time I didn't want it to end and I didn't want to leave the characters. Mark E. Drotos does an amazing job of making you feel a part of this whole story like you're there watching it happen. Very well done on the storytelling so that it gives you that movie in your mind as you read. Absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of King or Patterson or just wants a really good horror novel with a few laughs thrown in.

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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor by Mark E. Drotos.

I always feel ungrateful for not giving a book I received on here a good review but what is a review if not honest? I just couldn't get into this one and found it dull. It took me a while to get through it and while the story was okay, the characters weren't interesting or relatable to me. I love a good ghost story but this just wasn't it for me.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Mark E Drotos for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor.

Stephen Davenport is a professor of Paranormal Studies at Strathmore University. He takes 3 students from the university to Strathmore Estate for a weekend of investigating the supernatural. Evelynn has a relationship with Stephen, which they keep on the DL because she’s a student at the university. Since Evelynn wasn’t directly Stephen’s student, I was okay with their relationship. I can see it was necessary for later in the story. Robb and John are the other two students who join them on the ghost hunt.

I loved the history and backstory of the Crimshaw Manor. There was a great blizzard in 1868 and Elizabeth Crimshaw was found hanging inside the manor. Her husband and son were never found. I was thinking the story would be a little creepier with a backstory like that. I loved the small investigation team. I loved the feel of the creepy manor with secret passageways. I loved the dreamlike visions they experienced. I think I would’ve preferred it to be a little more creepy throughout the story instead of more at the end. At times it didn’t feel like the stakes were very high. It didn’t seem as if the ghosts or anything would really harm them. The last few chapters is the kind of dark supernatural feel that I was wanting throughout the book.

Overall, I loved the story. It was well-written and I was definitely invested in finding out what happened with Elizabeth and her family. I will definitely check out more books from this author.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys creepy houses and ghost stories.

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I went into reading this book with high expectations because I absolutly love ghost stories. Sadly I was severly disappointed. I could not really connect to the characters or the story. The way the conversations were written and the turns of the story were kind of boring and not for me.

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I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one. Normally when a books title starts with "The Haunting Of," I prepare myself for a story that will be better with visual aids. True, there were parts in this book that visual aids would bring some extra frights, but overall the story itself is enough to make the hair on the back of your neck rise.
Nice flow, not getting too hung-up on detail. I saw places where i wish the writer went a little more extreme, or at least deeper, to prevent some of the dialogue from seeming to be forced.
Not bad.

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*ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review*

I really hate giving books lower than 3 stars. Normally if books are personally less than 3 stars, they just weren't for me but I still think someone else would enjoy them. This one... just had a lot of technical issues that need to be addressed before I think I would recommend it to people as a good gothic ghost story.

Crimshaw Manor had a lot going on and would have been less confusing if the story were split into 2 books - one about the DeMaine's funeral home location and one about Crimshaw. Having two haunted locations in the same small town, both with two main floors and a creepy basement plus a history of similar paranormal activity (shadows and lights in windows, shadow people around the property, etc.) was really confusing for the first 20-ish% of the book. We're told all this backstory about DeMaine's for it to become background noise. I kept waiting to see how these two locations would come together in the story, like perhaps the group would escape a harrowing experience in Crimshaw only to be followed back to DeMaine's? That connection never happened, and I can only assume by the ending of the book (no spoilers) that perhaps DeMaine's will be utilized more in a sequel.

I also very much did not understand Evelynn's character. In one of her first POV scenes (I think POV was supposed to switch with chapter, but progressively became more erratic so I'll call it a scene), we are told she hasn't really gotten close to anyone romantically because she's got this "not like other girls" vibe and because she has her own personal semi-regular paranormal experiences... but within a singular weekend she's ready to move in with Stephen? We get some allusion that they previously dated, but still... she was very adamant that this relationship would not happen now that Stephen is faculty at the university while she's still a student. Evelynn was supposed to be one of, if not effectively THE main character here, yet she seems like a generic college student character whose vague abilities are used as a plot device rather than character development.

I will say that I did enjoy the technical explanations of the actual ghost hunting - it's obvious the author has experience with the various equipment that was used in the story and wasn't just rattling off techniques from the ghost hunting TV shows. The parts of the story that most kept my attention where the scenes from the second night in Crimshaw - laying out the equipment, reviewing the evidence, the dawning horror when something would show up on one of the computer screens from a camera, but being unable to understand or stop what was happening? Really great suspense building. I also enjoyed Robb's character and the way he is just an endless well of paranormal knowledge that no one else in the group expected of him.

2.5 stars overall. If we see more from this author, I'm hoping for a more clear story and deeper characters that have a life and personality outside of their ghost-hunting quartet.

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I really try to be generous when I'm given something free to read and to give new writers a bit of a break. But unfortunately, this book was just too glaringly amateurish to warrant too much slack. While the premise was interesting, the execution was poor. For one thing, the dialogue is atrocious. Two twenty-something friends get together and speak thusly: "It is good to see you." "I am happy for you." "Yes, I am happy too." "It is haunted." This reads like robots imitating humans. Apparently the author was so concerned about word count he decided to completely forego any attempts at making human interactions sound.realistic. Then, the characters do ridiculously stupid things, like out of the cheapest B-horror movie, running about the haunted house with zero preparation. But the icing on the bad cake was when the two main characters are in the car waiting for their phones to recharge so they can go back into the house, the girl suddenly jumps the guy, hoping to rekindle their past relationship and have sex right there. That is the stuff of some pubescent 15-year old's imagination. I know I should probably leave a short, bland review as to how I just didn't like the book, but there are so many transgressions I feel I need to explain why I disliked it so much.

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The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor by Mark E. Drotos is one of those fun reads that breezes along and pulls you into its tale before you realize it--
The story deals with Stephen Davenport and his group of Paranormal investigators at Strathmore University. The story deals with their investigation of the titular Crimshaw Manor and the mystery revolving around the historical deaths that took place there and the disappearances that have happened in subsequent years.
I enjoyed the humor of the book and the creepy setting and the characters were likable...
If you are a fan of Darcy Coates, Ghost Adventures or Amy's Crypt this book will be fun and hits the right notes for a pleasant way to pass an evening.
#TheHauntingofCrimshawManor was provided as an ARC by #NetGalley and #BHC press.

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The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor had a great premise - a town legend, deaths and family history in the manor. A dashing professor (of Paranormal Studies) and his students spend a weekend.... but for me, the book told more then it showed. It was a little too simplistic in writing. I would still recommend to any paranormal fan and I do think it's an excellent idea for a movie!

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This is a deliciously creepy wonderful addition to the horror genre. I enjoyed every aspect of this story. It really hit the spot for me.

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