Book Review – The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell

First published, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Not long ago, finding myself with little to do in the afternoons, I started watching as many free films on Amazon Prime as I could get through. Among the many was The Midnight Man (2016) with Robert Englund and Lin Shaye. If you haven’t, and you like a bit of horror, I’d give it a go.

Fact is, having grown up in Britain, I don’t know that many urban legends. I’m sure they’re not all American, but I can’t think of any from the top of my head that aren’t. I suspect the story of the Midnight Man – where the impressionable young people enter a creepy old house, write their names on pieces of paper with a dab of their blood, knock on the door twenty-two times at midnight, and wait for the legend to come and eviscerate them if they fail to get their candle relit within ten seconds, and can only suppose that they’ll live to tell the tale if they make it to 3.33 am without major incident – is a well-known one. It must be because the Robert England film isn’t even the first one with that title.

So, when I picked up this book, I fancied I sort of knew the bones of the story anyway. And I did. The bit with the legend, anyway. And the story surrounding it is good, with very well-realised characters and a clever plot. What threw me was trying to work out the setting.

The spelling suggested the story must be set in Britain but there were a couple of American, or American-related, characters, and my frowning to work out where I was reading served to confuse this reader. As such, I’m knocking off a star. But only one.