David Warwick, an Englishman living in New York, has a sudden premonition that his twin brother, Colin, is in danger. He returns to England and learns the shocking truth: both Colin and his young bride Helen have died ghastly deaths - deaths that no one in the village wants to talk about.
Now David has inherited his brother's home, Gerrard's Hill Cottage, a lovely house with a lush garden that seems to promise peace and comfort to all who dwell there. But as David tries to unearth the facts of what really happened to his brother and his wife, he has no idea of the horror and evil that surround him or the terrible fate that may be in store.
A chilling story that builds slowly and inexorably towards its shocking climax, Bernard Taylor's Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) has been recognized as one of the finest horror novels ever written. This edition features a new introduction by Michael Rowe.
©1977 Bernard Taylor (P)2016 Valancourt Books, LLC
"My favorite ghost story...at once manages to be both moving and extremely unsettling...there isn't anything that beats it." (Charles L. Grant)
"Ingenious and well-crafted - a most satisfying chiller!" (Grand Rapids Press)
"A slow-burning, invisibly seductive ghost story." (Kirkus Reviews)
A twin suddenly feels heartbreaking pain and fears his brother may have been in an accident. Arriving back home in England he discovers his brother's death and tries to get some answers from the local villagers. Everyone is very distant and refuses to give him a straight answer. Quite long, but ok.
"The best horror novel I ever heard!"
Dark creepy epic
It is like Poe on steroids, it has every aspect of horror done perfectly - unreliable narrator, tragic back story, building terror and fright, everything.
This was the best book narration I ever heard, it was like a movie in my mind. There wasn't a flaw in the inner life of David Warwick as narrated by Matt Godfrey. His acting skills are way beyond ordinary narration, he made every aspect of this creepy story come alive. If I could have given his performance more than five stars I would have.
I did, but on the other hand I wanted it to never end. The best listening experience I have had in years.
I will listen to this audio book more than once, there aren't many books I can say that about.
"Too slow paced but great narration"
This is a very slow paced ghost story, and although the plot is great and the story interesting, the slow pace took it down in my rating. I kept thinking 'move on! Let something happen now' and something does happen, but you have to wait a long time for that.
I kept up with the book because it made me curious in what would happen next and the narrator Matt Godfrey was amazing in his performance. I really wish I could give it more stars, and I would have if this story was 4 hours shorter.
*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.
"Spine chilling ghost story"
This is a great spine chilling ghost story. Mystery builds hand in hand with the menace, creating a dark, twisting story laced with love, obsession and death. The author leads you on a complex journey that cumulates in an unpredictable end that leaves you slack jawed. The narrator does an excellent job of creating the feel of what is happening in the story; building tension, fear, arousal and hopelessness in all the right places. His voice brings these great characters to life and you share in their emotions. I received the audiobook at no cost and under no obligation.
"Kept me glued till the end! Very well written!!!"
The narration has a strong impact on this book and makes for a scary, yet enjoyable experience.
This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost.
"Ghost Story Mystery Romance"
It's hard to categorize this novel because it's such a cool mashup of genres, so I'm not even going to try. It started out as a pretty straight relationship drama and I liked it for that. A strained relationship, a stressed out academic and a weird feeling causes a man to visit his brother in England. From there, weird things ensue.
If you're patient with this book and trust me that it's worth sticking with, you'll really enjoy it. For the first 1/3 of the book not a lot is going on and there were no answers to the hero's questions anywhere. I was almost getting bored and about to ask to the author why the action was stalled when things slowly started to happen and the story gained momentum.
I should mention that the narrator was excellent. He did an amazing job switching between the British voices and the American accent of the woman seamlessly. It takes a good ear to be able to do that, and I grew quite fond of this narrator over the course of the book.
There were times I wanted to smack the main character for not being more honest in his communications with several characters, especially when he suspected someone of a certain behavior and jumped to conclusions that turned out to be wrong, but I suppose that we must allow our heroes their flaws. There were also times he lied to or misled others that pissed me off, but there are consequences to all actions as it turns out.
For the slow pace of the first third of the book, I forgive it 100% as it's more than made up for with the breakneck pace the last 1/3 of the book. It was a roller coaster ride to be sure, and while it was difficult to discern what year this book was written, it didn't change the fact that it was an entertaining story and a fresh mashup of genres that was pretty enjoyable with only a few nit-picky story and character quibbles on my part.
* I was given a copy of this audio book by the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. *
"A Lost Treasure"
I don't know how Valancourt finds these lost treasures but they sure have a knack. Sweetheart, Sweetheart is a classic ghost story with all the foreboding and bittersweet moments you can possibly stand lined up and waiting for you. There's a decent mystery to unwind and the pacing is perfect, not too fast or too slow. Many stories like this come across as silly but Sweetheart, Sweetheart provides some truly chilling moments and never strays into the ridiculous. There's also a great lesson here about trusting your partner and not keeping things from them in order to protect them. Though this is a quite straightforward white male narrator if you're interested in themes of female madness there's a lot to think about here. Highly recommended!
David has an ominous feeling that his twin brother Colin is in serious danger so he leaves the US and heads off to England to see what’s what. He discovers terrible things have indeed occurred. As he attempts to figure out exactly what has happened, he finds himself residing temporarily in Colin’s gorgeous cabin and meeting some interesting characters along the way who clue him in on Colin, Colin’s wife and the home’s ominous past. He is left to ferret out the rest of the secrets on his own. He is tenacious. I would've been scurrying back home after a few events but that's just me.
This book was a beautiful example of the atmospheric, slow burn ghost story. Why it isn’t better known is beyond me. It was leagues better than most of the recent novels I’ve read. It actually gave me the creeps a time or two and that almost never happens.
It is a product of its time though (the 70’s). David is one of those stubborn guys who keeps everything to himself (oooh, how that makes me crazy!) and tells the love of his life next to nothing. I’d strangle a guy like that in real life or at the very least drive him crazy with my questions but here it works well enough. I suppose if he shared everything things would’ve ended very differently and I thought the ending was dark perfection.
The characters are engaging and some of the dialogue between David and his love just hit me in all the right ways.
"You could bring me a good book.
Right, I'll bring you a good book. Your usual taste and nothing to get you too excited. Just sex, lust, rape, mayhem . . .
And murder, she finished for me."
I listened to this book as an unabridged audio and you will feel that ominous feeling of dread that accompanies David wherever he goes as soon as the narrator begins to speak. His voice seems made for this kind of story.
I can’t tell you any more without spoiling everything for you. I hate when that happens so I am stopping here. Just know that the buildup is slow and worth the wait. You are left, just as David is, to attempt to make sense of the strange goings-on occurring at the beautiful cabin. I didn’t figure it out before the reveal but I’m not very good at these things. If you like an old-fashioned, get under your skin ghost story listen to the audio or read the book. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.
"Well written, dark and brooding"
I’m not sure what took me so long to read Bernard Taylor, but evidently, I have been missing out. This is a great example of 1970’s old school atmospheric horror. The building dread and tension are palpable in this one as long buried secrets are slowly revealed, leading up to the appropriately twisted conclusion. A very well written, dark and brooding, ghost story/murder mystery.
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