Tyme's End by B R Collins
|Tyme's End by B R Collins|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A ghost story-come-psychological thriller with an old country house at its centre. It's genuinely chilling with an interestingly back-to-front structure and will suit readers who like intensity and unpredictability in their books. Bookbag loved it.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: January 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Bibi feels like a fish out of water. She's right in the middle of the most difficult of teenage years, the ones in which you don't feel as though you belong anywhere. Bibi's feelings are exacerbated because she is adopted. Friends of the family took her in after her parents died and they have done their best by her. They love her and, despite everything, Bibi loves them. But she doesn't feel as though she belongs to this family and she thinks constantly of her real parents and her real home in the Middle East.
Tyme's End, an old and ruined manor house in the village where she lives, is the only place Bibi feels truly at home. The house gives her isolation and it soothes her. It's her sanctuary. So, when Oliver, its absent owner, shows up at the bed and breakfast Bibi's parents run, and when he announces he intends to sell off Tyme's End to developers, Bibi is desperate to change his mind...
...but should she be? What hold does this house have over Bibi? Why is Oliver so desperate to be shot of it? There are dark secrets in Tyme's End's past - betrayal, cruelty, even death - and it's time to turn and face them.
Tyme's End is genuinely chilling - and, despite an episodic, three-tales-in-one structure, Collins builds suspense right up until the very last pages. I found the last section almost unbearably tense and I really wasn't sure if I was looking forward to the resolution or not, such was the menace.
There are three narrators, beginning with Bibi, and each takes the reader further back in time but nearer to the seed of the evil that is the novel's main axis. I really enjoyed the idea that I began reading at the end of the story and finished up right back at the beginning and I'm even more impressed that Tyme's End became more and more of a page-turner as the narrative got closer and closer to its source. The three voices are utterly credible - Bibi's is ultra-contemporary and the feel of the first third of the book is that of an emotionally-charged kitchen sink drama. It's only towards the end of this part that the reader's forebodings begin to be aroused, but by the last section the hairs on my neck were really standing on end.
Tyme's End is an unusual and absorbing book that will particularly suit readers who like intensity and unpredictability and aren't afraid of a challenge. Bookbag loved it.
My thanks to the good people at Bloomsbury for sending the book.
If claustrophobic ghost stories are their thing, they'll love Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, set in the Arctic during the 1930s. They might also enjoy the Gothicism in Set in Stone by Linda Newbery and the emotional intensity of What I Was by Meg Rosoff.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tyme's End by B R Collins at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Tyme's End by B R Collins at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.