Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. Book review

FROZEN CHARLOTTE by Alex Bell. Red Eye, p/b, £6.99

Reviewed by Stewart Horn

Many of us remember fondly the Goosebumps and Point Horror books, in which mostly familiar horror tropes were reworked for a younger readership. Red Eye is a brand new imprint from Little Tiger Press and seems to be ploughing a similar furrow. But based on this initial release it looks like they may be a bit classier.

Sophie’s boyfriend Jay downloads an ouija board app and they play with it, and Sophie uses it to ask about her deceased cousin Rebecca. Spooky happenings ensue and the following morning Jay is found dead in the canal.

A few weeks later Sophie is at Rebecca’s old house on Skye to spend a fortnight with her uncle and remaining cousins, secretly planning to find out more abut Rebecca whom she blames for Jay’s death.

The house has an unpleasant history, from when it was a Victorian school. There have been many unexplained deaths an other nastiness over the decades, and the current occupants are very strange and probably dangerous. Many more bad things happen in the course of the book, and they seem related to one cousin’s collection of tiny porcelain dolls, who can be heard whispering and scratching in the night.

The book contains a few YA clichés that might make an adult reviewer groan, but overall it’s a fun and easy read for teenagers and children from age ten or so. It’s less obviously derivative than the Goosebumps series and has some genuinely creepy moments and a satisfying mystery that’s competently maintained right to the end.

A fun, spooky read for young readers with a taste for the macabre, and a promising start to a new imprint.