1963. Foxgrove School near Stockbridge, Massachusetts. One of the oldest and finest academies in the country – but what really goes on behind closed doors? Nathaniel Drake, the new young English teacher, Isobel Milewski, the quiet girl who loved to draw spirals, her fingers stained with green ink, Jack Lewis, who lent Isobel books – just words, just ink on paper, Margot Leya, the girl with those eyes – who are they, what part have they played in killing the dead?
Follow the dark, dark path
Into the dark, dark woods
To the dark, dark bridge
By the dark, dark water.
Let the ghosts of heaven tell their story.
A stylish and creepy story for World Book Day from prize-winning author Marcus Sedgwick.
Killing the dead was published as a world book day book, to ‘follow on’ from The Ghosts Of Heaven. A book that I read and loved back in 2014. Unfortunately my rubbish memory and the fact I’ve literally birthed and raised a child since then has meant that I can’t quite remember The Ghosts of Heaven as much as I want to, but my review speaks for itself.
thankfully I think that the main idea of Killing The Dead is that its another separate but linked part of the story. So it doesn’t matter too much that I couldn’t remember the original book.
Killing The Dead was written in the third person, following the story of a dead girl; Isobel by way of a new teacher, Nathaniel Drake, and Margot; the popular edgy girl at the prestigious Foxgrove school. There are a number of other characters we are introduced to, Jack Lewis; Head of English, and Mrs Grenjard, the Housemother, or matron of sorts. Nathaniel and Margot are both full of themselves so its hard to really like either of them. Which makes the story somewhat better, because they are interesting, even if they aren’t nice. I liked Jack Lewis though, who seems to think its a bit of his own fault for what happened to Isobel.
The book is definitely a bit of a supernatural drama. There are element of the gothic novels of old from the start and I loved that about it. Isobel’s ghost turns up at one point and pushes it right into the supernatural and I loved the way the story unfolded as I didn’t completely see it coming. At only 117 pages there isn’t much build up to the story, but it was long enough to get my heart beating and want to read on! I loved the ending as shocking as it was and the inclusion of the poem that Nathaniel referenced right at the start of the book was very fitting.
I want to go back and re-read The Ghosts of Heaven because I do remember it being amazing, but I also want to devour everything else I’ve missed by this author, I love the way he writes and can remember loving everything I’ve read by him – even if I can’t remember every detail! There is so much to read by him that I haven’t yet and Killing The Dead reminded me how amazing he is.
I really love the little World Book Day books that authors release that add more depth to the stories of their other books or series’ and I love that they make them accessible to people who otherwise may not have read them. If this was an introduction to Marcus Sedgwick for me I would definitely be heading to my local library the next chance I got to read more!
Killing The Dead was published by Orion in 2015 as part of the World Book Day collection. My copy was purchased from my local bookseller.