by Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah is best known for her psychological thrillers but in this novel, commissioned by the Hammer imprint, she put all her experience to good use as she turns her attention to the world of the supernatural.
The Orpha Choir is something of a slow burner. Louise Beeston is being tormented by her party-loving neighbour Juston Clay (or, as she likes to call him, Mr Farenheit). For months Louise, along with her husband Stewart, have had to put up with having Clay’s musical choices foisted on them on a regular basis. But it is Louise who suffers the most and is finally driven to breaking point. When she contacts the Environmental Health Department things seem to improve, but not for long.
Louise’s life takes some strange twists over the following months, but it is not just Clay’s musical choices that are behind her troubles. With her son recently accepted as a border at the prestigious Saviour College School, Louise is struggling to cope and lack of sleep is not helping. There are a few interesting twists and it is clear that all is not as it seems.
Louise and Stewart live ordinary lives in Cambridge, struggling with the usual worries – work, family, neighbours and their own relationship. It is the very ordinariness of their lives that makes the way the plot unfolds so intriguing.
This is not a classic horror or ghost story. It is an intriguing story of one woman’s battle against forces beyond her control. I enjoyed the plot and the characters and who knows, one day we may see the movie – it is a Hammer Horror book after all.