GCSE English Language students have looked at the opening to Susan Hill’s chilling novel, I’m the King of the Castle recently. The novel makes readers think about their expectations and the way cleverly estranging(defamiliarising) characterisation can create unease immedia
Sydney’s mind was like perfect amber. Things stayed longer in her head than even they thought possible! All Inclusions felt welcome in Sydney’s mind’. Domenica laughed at her joke as if Sydney was talking to her in the room. ‘ We declared ourselves collectors then Nora’
‘It was a cold grey day in late November.’ Thus begins Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. The dismal declaration of the weather foreshadows the uneasy tension surrounding the protagonist’s future new home at the Inn of the title. The specific details give realis
“Had he and I but met By some old ancient inn, We should have sat us down to wet Right many a nipperkin! “But ranged as infantry, And staring face to face, I shot at him as he at me, And killed him in his place.
Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write. Ruth Rendell’s thriller A Judgement in Stone opens with a devastating clarity. We are in no doubt as to the killer, victim and the motive. Yet, what we are told, goads us into reading the re
Coup de Grace. The woman smiled at the tiny plasticine figure sprawled on the passenger seat. “You enjoy yourself there whilst you can.” She nudged his head with her finger so that it lolled on his shoulder. “So sorry about all your friends.” The woman took a moment to check her bag (
Phoenix writers met for a critique session last week, before the summer break. I wrote this in my sunny yard, trying to make a conversation between two people carry an undercurrent of menace. Nora may be rather more than a biographer and the apparent villain, Dominica, may have her ow
They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days. Not any more, though. Now, when a murderer pays the penalty for his crime, he does so up at Bodmin, after fair trial at the Assizes. That is, if the law convicts him, before his own conscience kills him. It is better so. Like a s
‘Go on,’ whispered Mrs Danvers. ‘Go on, don’t be afraid.’ I shut my eyes. I was giddy from staring down at the terrace, and my fingers ached from holding to the ledge. The mist entered my nostrils and lay upon my lips rank and sour. It was stifling, like
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