Description from NetGalley
Unfortunately for the children, a malevolent ghost has been haunting the castle for four centuries, waiting to wreak revenge. In searching for the hidden chamber, the children are unwittingly putting themselves in great danger.
Unbeknownst to them, witchcraft was once practised in the castle, and sinister dark magic is still lurking within the castle walls waiting to be unleashed again. On Tracy’s bedroom wall in the castle, there is a mysterious painting which holds a very dark and terrifying secret…
It was night. Suddenly Tracy awoke with a jolt. Something had disturbed her in her sleep. There seemed to be the sound of someone crying in the distance. A feeling of panic came over Tracy as for a moment she didn’t know where she was. Everything around her was pitch black…
This is a lovely and well written book, in particular the writing style fits perfectly for the intended age group. However, having read it, I can’t help but think that it would also appeal to some of the younger but more able readers as well. My seven year old daughter is an avid reader and often wants to read books beyond the ones aimed at her age group, but sometimes this presents a problem in that the content of these aren’t always suitable for her (hence, she has finally managed all the Goosebumps series and is now eyeing up The Point Horror stories – which I am not encouraging just yet!). The Haunted Painting on the Wall is a perfect solution to this because of its clever handling of the scare factor. It works mainly by building the tension within the group of children with the usual rumours and tales passed down throughout the generations. However, moulded in with that is the excitement of the young group of characters involved in the discovery as well as the promise of one heck of an exciting adventure! It is a wonderful way of starting its readers off on their first proper haunted story. Tracy is an instantly likeable character, who I think the reader will enjoy following through the adventure, and there is a realistic sibling relationship between her and her brother Sebastian. Its setting is wonderfully atmospheric with Devika writing from first-hand experience of her time in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland, and this emphasises the enormity of the castle for Tracy and Sebastian as it rests against some wonderful backdrops of scenery. However, I believe it is the idea of a haunting through a picture which remains the story’s biggest achievement; a wonderful concept which is very creative and makes this book stand out from the crowd.
I received this book for review from the wonderful people at NetGalley.