The Dead Men Stood Together
Synopsis: Alex joins his father on a business trip to Amsterdam. During the day he hangs out with the daughter of a family friend. They visit the usual sights but also coffee shops and flea markets off the beaten track. At one of these markets Alex spots an ancient-looking mask. Before he knows what he’s doing he buys it. Later, in his hotel room, he feels compelled to put the mask on. Alex is sucked into a parallel Amsterdam, one from centuries before which begins to reveal the dark past of both the building he is staying in and the little girl who once lived there… edging stealthily towards the terrible twist.
200words (or less) review: Apart from old dolls, masks have a great potential for creeping someone out. Something Chris Priestley makes work ever so well in this book.
I have been to Amsterdam a few times but never did the touristy thing, so reading about the places Angelina takes Alex to was interesting. (It also makes me want to go and see them.) The story of Hanna’s past really hooked me on this book I thought that certainly the first half worked at unnerving the reader. The more Alex discovers about the mask and Hanna the better it gets.
With the slow build in tension and horror working so brilliantly, however I felt the ending wasn’t as dramatic as it could have been. Apart from the very last page, which I loved.
Sometimes the descriptions were a bit much, knowing which motorway Alex was on wasn’t key to the story. Also I never cared that much about him, maybe the ending would have has more impact if I had.
Through Dead Eyes is the second book by Chris Priestley I’ve read and it’s only confirmed that I want to read more.