The Cupboard Under the Stairs by Roger Knowles

Cover imageI avoid novels based on police procedures. If I’m ever the victim of a serious crime, or arrested for having committed one, I may take more interest, but for now I prefer to avoid accounts of cynical police officers probing unpleasantness. Reviews have mentioned difficulty in deciding the genre of this book – police procedural or horror. I’m a big fan of horror: not that based on gruesome violence, but the more psychological type based on the existence of forces of evil that we cannot understand, much less control.

By constantly telling myself that this book fell into that category I was able to ignore the police procedural and gruesome violence elements and enjoy it for what remained. In deciding whether a book is ‘well written’, do we not have to take into account the genre? Literary fiction should be so well written that joy is found in relishing the prose itself and the story line is almost irrelevant. But for the horror genre, among others, my entertainment is in the basic idea and the plot. I’m happy to describe this book as well written because it kept the pace up and kept me reading in a manner that meant that any clunky writing passed unnoticed.

The ending was the only weak point for me. The whole point of supernatural horror is that ultimately there is no explanation that we can readily understand and a satisfactory ending is one that leaves the reader with the uncomfortable feeling of an unresolved issue that could return to haunt them.

For me, apart from that first sentence, the Prologue makes a decent final chapter.

Only available as an ebook from Amazon. The Cupboard Under The Stairs