Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Intruders - E E Richardson

The Intruders is E E Richardson's second novel. It is a horror story about a group of four children, siblings Joel and Cassie Demetrius, and their new stepbrothers, Tim (who's a little younger than Joel) and Damon (who's a little older than Cassie) Wilder, who move into an abandoned, rather derelict, house with their parents Amanda and Gerald (who aren't yet married) that's been empty for most of the time since it was built. It was built by a Patrick Sanderson, who became totally obsessed with building his perfect house. Whilst he's still building the house he marries a local widow, who moves in with her two sons.

Years later, the Wilder and Demetrius families are in the process of settling down, although this isn't made easier by the fact that Cassie hates the Wilders, something that she makes very clear to all of them. She considers them intruders and doesn't want her mother to marry Gerald Wilder. However, things start to become a little weird around the house: both Joel (from whose point of view the story is told) and Tim begin experiencing nightmares, hearing voices and seeing things. Then there's the way Cassie's room is turned upside down (she automatically blames the Wilders) and the way in which the rubbish bags full of newly scraped wallpaper are slashed to bits and scattered about the huge garden. Finally Joel manages to convince Cassie that something is going on, but since neither she nor Damon are affected by the activities of the ghost(s), they don't take the younger boys very seriously. Damon and Cassie agree to hold a séance in the attic at midnight, and it goes badly, although the children learn that the ghost cannot escape from the house. Finally Amanda and Gerald go out for a meal together, and Cassie and Damon set up another séance, this time in the big main room downstairs. Unfortunately a thunderstorm arrives and the house begins to be bombarded, partly by the storm, and partly by the elemental power of the ghost. Joel and Tim have worked out that the ghost is the eldest of two boys who were trapped in the attic; they go up to the attic to speak to the ghost, but Joel is thrown bodily across the attic, and Tim falls off the ladder after the ghost knocks it down. The house is still under attack, with all the windows blown in and rain pouring through the damaged front door. Finally the four take refuge in the cellar, where they make a grisly discovery after Joel manages to work out just who the ghost is and why it is trapped in the house.

I'm not a fan of horror books or movies, so I found this book a rather challenging read. I wouldn't recommend reading it in the dark, particularly if you've got a vivid imagination ! It's the sort of book that's best read in broad daylight, preferably outside in the sunshine.


maggie_animal_love said...

my name is maggie and i love the book the intruders. it has been the 4th time i have read the book. i do wish to be a writer though i have started writing and when im older i would hopefully be finished so it can be published for everyone to read. i was wondering if there was a movie based on you book for an english movie review project. i loved the book so much that i would love to see a movie based on it.

Michele said...

I don't know if there's a movie version of this...