Today I’m delighted to be a stop on The Crying Boy blog tour, the much anticipated second novel by Jane E James.
About this book…
Clayton and Avril Shaw have lost their little boy and are still grieving when they move into Swallow’s Nest on the Yorkshire moors.
In their new house Avril discovers a painting and is intrigued by the history surrounding it. When she learns that the boy in the painting was deaf, like her dead son, she starts to try and communicate with his ghost.
Meanwhile, Clayton finds himself entangled in an equally undesirable friendship with a retired fire chief who knows more about the painting than he is prepared to let on.
Is The Crying Boy painting cursed and can numerous house fires be linked to it?
Struggling with their unstable marriage, the couple find themselves in further danger as an increasingly disturbing bond develops between Avril and The Crying Boy.
In a twist of events Avril’s irrational behaviour is brought to a dramatic halt when she discovers she is pregnant. With her affections once again restored for Clayton, she decides to dispose of the sinister portrait. But the cast off painting wants revenge and its anger towards Avril’s unborn child might just prove immeasurable.
Can Avril and Clayton live happily ever after or does The Crying Boy have other plans?
Now I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to scary stuff in films, on tv, in books…..okay so most things! But I was recommended Jane E James first book, The Long Weekend, and so was eagerly awaiting her second. It took me a little longer to read than it would normally though as I tend to read in bed…in the dark…AND I JUST COULDN’T DO IT!! Honestly this book is so creepy that I still can’t even look at that cover and I’ve had to take it off my kindle!
I remember when The Sun newspaper first reported the curse of The Crying Boy painting and created a public frenzy which had people sending in their pictures to The Sun to be destroyed. Apparently it started when a firefighter told the paper that no firefighter would have one in their home as they always seemed to survive house fires undamaged. And that’s why I went into this book very gingerly! I’m not superstitious but you can never be too careful…can you?!
Jane E James has created an atmospheric and darkly suspenseful story here that scared the **** out of me at times! Avril and her husband Clayton are just normal people who have had tragedy thrown at them, making them more susceptible to the events that occur when they move into their new home. I really felt for Avril as soon as I found out how she had lost her son in an accident and the circumstances surrounding it. Her emotions were overwhelming for her but when she looked for comfort in the portrait of The Crying Boy it set off a spine chilling “relationship” between them. And it was the descriptions of that portrait itself and it’s actions that freaked me out the most. Watching bereaved parents falling apart was hard enough but to watch helplessly as an outside influence threatened to destroy their relationship completely was utterly nerve wracking!
This is one of the most chilling books that I have read in a long time mainly due to the fact that it was based around a true story. But Jane E James has taken that story and weaved her own terrifying tale around it that will unnerve even the most sceptical of readers. Just make sure you read it with the lights on!
Thank you to Bloodhound Books for my review copy of The Crying Boy which was published on March 31st 2017 and is available to buy here at Amazon UK.