Night After Night by Phil Rickman
Contains scenes some viewers may find disturbing... Leo Defford doesn't believe in ghosts. But, as the head of an independent production company, he does believe in high-impact TV. Defford hires journalist Grayle Underhill to research the history of Knap Hall, a one-time Tudor farmhouse that became the ultimate luxury guesthouse... until tragedy put it back on the market. Its recent history isn't conducive to a quick sale, but Defford isn't interested in keeping Knap Hall for longer than it takes to make a reality TV show that will run night after night... A house isolated by its rural situation and its dark reputation. Seven people, nationally known, but strangers to one another, locked inside. But this time, Big Brother may not be in control.
Night After Night takes the classic Big Brother reality show concept and turns it into Big Other – seven celebrities are enclosed within the walls of a Tudor farmhouse, some of whom are sceptics, and some believers. Once owned by the luminous Trinity Ansell who was obsessed with, and wanted to be haunted by, Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, the house lies emptied after her tragic death.
I found Night After Night deliciously creepy and claustrophobic, with the brooding farmhouse and its grim past taking centre stage – a constant background menace increasing the tension as Big Other is prepared and aired. The story is told from the perspective of Grayle Underhill, an American journalist who used to be involved in ‘alternative’ ways of thinking, but who has tried to leave that behind her. Unfortunately she has to take the job as researcher for Big Other in order to keep her career, however unwilling she is to get involved, and as the celebrities are cajoled into accepting very well paid positions in the house she digs deeper and deeper into the house’s history and the misery which seems to have lingered.
This isn’t a ‘classic’ ghost stories in many ways – the whole point of the programme being made is that it should explore different experiences and theories on whether ghosts are real or not, but in addition to this there is clearly something going on at Knapp Hall which cannot be explained, something which bypasses reason and makes people react with a very primal fear. The transportation of a very modern TV show concept with hidden cameras and manipulation also wonderfully jars with the Tudor backdrop of the hall and I could really feel the grating tension building throughout the story.
With Halloween this is obviously an excellent time of year for a scary story, but Night After Night is also very well written and, best of all, doesn’t give away all of the answers.
This Night After Night book review was written by Cat Fitzpatrick
Have you read Night After Night?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Night After Night reader reviews
Caroline from UK
It helps if you have read Will Kingdom's books, even though this one is billed as a 'stand alone'. This is a level beyond, however, as layers of disturbance are probed all the way back to prehistoric Belas Knap. Nothing is certain; everything is suggested, and the various characters react in interesting and enlightening ways. Cindy is a delight (as always), and the atmosphere is very well crafted. Two reasons for the 9, as opposed to 10: the basis for the murder wasn't quite solid enough, and the climax was too fractured (as it was in the second John Dee book). Otherwise, brilliant: thank you, Phil Rickman.
Judith from Australia
As a longtime fan of Phil Rickman I was very pleased to learn he had written a new novel. Having just finished it I now feel let down. The story line was predictable, the characters never seemed to develop and the action moved very slowly. It made sound strange but it lacked drama. The ending was surprising but not shocking. I will reread it in the near future to see if a second look reveals anything new. I hope it will.
8.2/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Never Knew Another
Fugitive Rachel Nolander is a newcomer to the city of Dogsland, where the rich throw parties and the poor just do whatever they can to scrape by. Supported by her brother D...
Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu
Mercedes M Yardley
Her mama always said she was special. His daddy called him a demon. But even monsters can fall in love. Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a s...
A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe wa...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dirty Streets of Heaven
Sure, he takes the occasional trip to Heaven, but his job as an advocate - arguing the fate of the recently deceased - keeps him pretty busy on Earth, and he's more tha...
The Hollow City
Michael Shipman is paranoid schizophrenic; he suffers from hallucinations, delusions, and complex fantasies of persecution and horror. That's bad enough. But what can h...
Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth tha...
Miriam Black knows when you will die. Still in her early twenties, she's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. ...
Deadbeat - Makes You Stronger
Max and Tom are old, old friends, who used to be actors. Tom now owns a jazz nightclub called Deadbeat which, as well as being their source of income, is also something of ...
The Year of the Ladybird
It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. B...
The Clown Service
The Department: Section 37 Station Office, Wood Green. The Boss: August Shining, an ex-Cambridge, Cold War-era spy. The Mission: Charged with protecting Great Britain and i...
Nameless: The Darkness Comes
Mercedes M Yardley
Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic&rsq...
So welcome to Midnight where nothing is what it seems and not knowing everything about your neighbours may end up getting you killed. I enjoy this kind of story, a mystery/...
Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcend...
They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the cent...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring angels and demons
Best of 2016
Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends s...
This Savage Song
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as r...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...