"I saw again all the shabby detail and, even more than on my first visit, I had an impression of the house being held in some sort of balance. One could see so painfully, I thought, both the glorious thing it had recently been, and the ruin it was on its way to becoming."
Dr Faraday returns to the house where, as a youth, his mother worked as a servant. The cause of his visit is an unexpected house call to see to a sick, young, maid. Her illness, taking the form of dissatisfaction with her surrounds, sets the tone of life within the decrepit mansion.
The Ayres family - Roderick, Caroline and Mrs Ayres - hold a particular fascination for the village doctor, as their lives begin to intermingle and the question of whether the power of the house over the family is a psychological or supernatural influence keeps the hair on the reader's neck at full attention.
The atmosphere of threat and suspense had me hanging on every word and greedily completing the novel before turning in, eager to avoid going to bed under the aura of suspense and terror.
Brilliantly written, always engaging and more than a little bit creepy, The Little Stranger is a fantastic read and in my opinion, well deserving of a 5 out of 5 bumps in the night.