Sunday, 24 August 2014

Book Review: THE MIDNIGHT SIDE BY NATASHA MOSTERT


My thoughts on this creepy psychological thriller ...........


THE MIDNIGHT SIDE
BY
NATASHA MOSTERT


Published by Portable Magic Ltd
Published ~ 13 December 2013 (first published 2000)


The Midnight Side is a chilling tale of a seductive woman who, even from the grave, is able to manipulate events to her satisfaction. A haunting story of obsession and loss, Natasha Mostert’s novel is an intricately plotted psychological thriller with an ending that will leave you breathless. 

Isa de Witt is not alarmed when she receives a phone call in the early morning hours from her cousin Alette—until she discovers that Alette has been dead for two days. 
Grief-stricken, Isa travels to Alette’s house in London where Alette had left behind three envelopes and a request. The envelopes contain instructions on how to bring about the financial downfall of Alette’s former husband: a man who had made Alette’s life a misery while she was still alive. 

But as Isa sets out to fulfil Alette’s last wish and exact revenge on her cousin’s behalf, she is in peril. Unbeknownst to her, Alette was murdered, and now it is Isa’s turn to be drawn into the killer’s world of dark fantasy and lethal obsession. 



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The Midnight Side was Natasha Mostert's debut novel about a woman who receives phone calls from her dead cousin Alette.

The beginning part was certainly chilling and creepy as Isa travels to London and stays in her cousin's house.  I could feel the sense of foreboding as she notices a man in the house opposite watching her.  

Alette has left Isa three envelopes which tell the story of how controlling her husband was and how she wants Isa to get her revenge from the grave.  But her husband seems friendly and charming when he takes Isa to dinner, how can he be this monster Alette has talked about?

Isa comes into contact with three men - the man who was watching her, Alette's husband Justin and the solicitor who hands her the three envelopes - they all seem nice but can she trust any of them?

Lucid dreaming, obsession, revenge and manipulation are the themes of this, at first, intriguing story, menacing in parts and slow in the middle part, also Isa had left a demanding business in South Africa before she flew to London but no mention was made of this work while she was away which I found odd.

Sometimes I really didn't know which way the story was going to go, there were unpredictable events but also some predictable moments which I was disappointed with, I don't like it when I can see what's coming - I like to be surprised more!

As this was Natasha Mostert's debut I can forgive her especially when I enjoyed her later book The Season of the Witch so much ~ my review is here.  It certainly hasn't put me off reading more of her books.

If you wanted to read her books in order you can start with this one to get a feel of her creepy writing, though they are all stand alone books.


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About the Author



Author of five suspense novels...
Brilliant, raven-haired psychic...
Saw her first ghost at age four...
Likes to take midnight rides on horseback and practices levitation twice a day...

OK, the part about the levitation and the horses is made up. The 'raven-haired psychic' description might be slightly over the top as well. And I haven't seen a ghost yet, but I plan to. The bit about the suspense novels is true.
I live in London and I write dark, psychological thrillers with a strong dash of mysticism and the paranormal. My fourth book, SEASON OF THE WITCH, is a modern gothic thriller about techgnosis and the Art of Memory and has won the Book to Talk About: World Book Day Award 2009.
Even though my books deal with subjects that are otherworldly, I like to keep the narrative firmly rooted in reality and my research is rigorous.
My interest in mysticism started in early childhood when I was growing up in South Africa. My aia (nanny) was a Zulu woman who introduced me to African legends and the world of the insangoma (witch doctors). For many years I thought she was the coolest person on the planet and tried to emulate her in every way. I remember exasperating my mother by stacking bricks below each corner of the bed to keep out of reach of the tokkelosh - an evil gnome with an enormous head but very short legs! Years later I would write about this in my debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT SIDE.
I now write full-time. I am working on my sixth novel, titled DARK PRAYER and have recently sold my first Hollywood screenplay. Previous jobs include selling shoes, teaching Afrikaans at a South African university and moonlighting as a project coordinator in the publishing department of a public television station in New York City.
If you care to visit my website, www.natashamostert.com, you will find notes on how I plot my books, questions for book clubs and links to YouTube videos. You may also wish to try your hand at one of my games. The SEASON OF THE WITCH Memory Game is based on alchemy and will tax your power of recollection. THE KEEPER Game is martial-arts based and takes the form of a fun personality quiz. Discover if you are a Warrior, a Healer or a Thief...

Source:  Thanks to the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.



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