The Room In The Attic by Louise Douglas

In The Gothic Tradition

The Room In The Attic by Louise Douglas is a fantastic dual timeline novel that drew me in from the start.

There are two interconnecting tales that are set in 1903 and 1993. Both take place in an asylum but in 1993 it is now a boys school.

The atmosphere is dark and more than a little creepy. There are two similar but different friendships that are trying to survive and protect in a cruel world. The desire to protect the innocent is very strong, crossing over between both time periods.

Time is explored within the novel. Is it possible for two time periods to exist simultaneously, crossing over at key points?

Tormented souls cannot rest. As a malevolent spirit continues to make its presence felt, goodness too shines through to counter balance evil.

The loss of a mother is painful but the veil between life and death is thin at times.

Louise Douglas employs techniques used in the traditional Gothic horror tradition. The darkness of the night mirrors the darkness of the souls as there are more than just a few things that go bump – including my heart!

The Room In The Attic was a fabulous read. It totally consumed me and I cannot wait to read more by Louise Douglas.

I received a free copy via Net Galley from Rachel’s Random Resources. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


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The Room in the Attic

A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

Praise for Louise Douglas

‘A brilliantly written, gripping, clever, compelling story, that I struggled to put down. The vivid descriptions, the evocative plot and the intrigue that Louise created, which had me constantly asking questions, made it a highly enjoyable, absolute treasure of a read.’ Kim Nash on The Scarlet Dress

‘A tender, heart-breaking, page-turning read’ Rachel Hore on The House by the Sea

‘The perfect combination of page-turning thriller and deeply emotional family story. Superb.’ Nicola Cornick on The House by the Sea

‘Kept me guessing until the last few pages and the explosive ending took my breath away.’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Accident on Your Beautiful Lies

‘Beautifully written, chillingly atmospheric and utterly compelling, The Secret by the Lake is Louise Douglas at her brilliant best’ Tammy Cohen, author of The Broken

‘A master of her craft, Louise Douglas ratchets up the tension in this haunting and exquisitely written tale of buried secrets and past tragedy.’ Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret

‘A clammy, atmospheric and suspenseful novel, it builds in tension all the way through to the startling final pages.’ Sunday Express, S Magazine

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Author Bio –

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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