Monday, November 11, 2013

A Vintage Reads Review: Down a Dark Hall



Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, October, 1990 (originally published in 1974). 181 pages. Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. Source: bought.
The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit knows that evil waits for her in the dark halls of Blackwood School for Girls. But she doesn't know it has already entered her life. Who will believe her if her fears are real only when she sleeps? 
First Sentence:
They had been driving since dawn, and for the past two hours, since they had turned off the highway onto the winding road that led through the hill country, Kit Gordy had been sleeping.

Down a Dark Hall was definitely different from what I had been expecting but in a totally good way. While I really enjoyed the overall creepiness and thrill of the mystery of this book, there just one thing that really bothered me about his book...which I'll get to later in my review.

This was perhaps the creepiest Lois Duncan book I have read to date.Even now, I' not sure what creeped me out more, the house that Kit's school was in, the fact that there were only maybe five students, or what the headmistress was hoping would happen to the kids attending her school. While each of those things were slightly scary on their own, the combination of all of them made for a book that hooked me from the moment Kit showed up at the school.
  Okay, other than the major creepy vibes from the school and headmistress, I really enjoyed (again) Ms. Duncan's writing and her ability to pull the reader into the story. Even though Down a Dark Hall was originally published in the 1970's, the writing didn't really feel dated. The only thing that may date this book is probably some of the descriptions, but this is still a great read for this first-timer to delve into.

Lois Duncan's writing is definitely what made this such a great. I cannot even begin to explain why I enjoy her writing so much. All I can say is that her writing and story-telling has always managed to pull me into whatever mystery or suspenseful book of hers I've read. I may not always like the characters, but the rest of the book is what makes me a fan of hers.

Okay, so while Down a Dark Hall is a great example of why I love reading mysteries written by Lois Duncan, there is just one little thing that kept me from fully loving this one. Kit. That girl drove me crazy from the very first page of the book. I guess you could say that what really bothered me about Kit would have to be her self centered, whiny personality. While Kit may not have been the ideal or most likable character, the rest of the book is worth sticking around for.

Final Verdict: Down a Dark Hall- exceptionally well written, with lots of twists.

Down a Dark Hall earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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