Rambling about books

Boo! 👻

Is it cliche to be writing about scary book in October? You know, what with Halloween and whatnots? Probably it is indeed cliche, but will it stop me from actually writing one? Definitely not.

I had my fair share of scary books, from one that is mildly scary to ones that actually became the fruit of my nightmare.

But, are all scary books always ghost related? Not according to me. Anything that cause me to put the book down is definitely a scary book. So, without further ado and in no particular order, let us all pee in our pants over these scary books that I’ve read.

A/N: I can’t promise you this will be spoiler free, so read at your own risk (but I’ll try my best not to spoil everything) and the level of scariness is measured by the number of the screaming emoji with one being the least and five being the most.

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Rambling about books

Book review: The House Between Tides, by Sarah Maine

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death.

Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing.

What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community—and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body. Goodreads.

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Rambling about books

Book review: Fatherland, by Robert Harris

It is April 1964 and one week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. Xavier March, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei, is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb. As March discovers the identity of the body, he uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with an American journalist, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth – a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history. Goodreads.

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Rambling about books

Book review: Touch, by Claire North

This was the book that I should have read before The Sudden Appearance of Hope, but by some wrong calculation, I end up reading this after the said book. On hindsight, it was actually a favourable mistake; whilst I do enjoy The Sudden Appearance of Hope, I have to say that it still doesn’t hold a candle against The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, while this one right here do come quite close on par. No, seriously, this book is so good! Everything about it is amazing! I have no complaint whatsoever.

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Rambling about books

Book review: The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction? Goodreads. Continue reading “Book review: The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton”

Rambling about books

Book review: The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier

Book cover from Goodreads

To demand promises is to invite disappointment.

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. (Taken from Goodreads)

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Psilocybin Mushroom



6.15 AM

“Blimey,” Darcy woke up startled when she took a peek at the bedside clock and noticed she had taken too many 5-minutes extra of sleep. Scrambling around trying to find her towel amidst the chaos that is her bedroom, she opts to go and find her glasses first. Glancing around her room, she found her towel draped over her bedside lamp. As she was walking out of her room towards the bathroom, she noticed a note was plastered on her door. The note reads, I took care of the body, handle the rest.

“Bloody hell! What have I done?”

7.14 AM

Dear Darcy,

I’ve read your first and second chapter and I have made several points for you to revise. Maybe we could meet sometime next week. Feel free to text my TA to schedule a meeting. Sorry for the sudden change of plans, but I was asked to attend a seminar in London, therefore I need to prepare my departure tomorrow. As for the revisions, you not need to worry, there aren’t too many so you can take a break for awhile until our next meeting. Just make sure that on the next meeting, you’ll have more your chapter three for me to check. You are past your deadline and I need you to step up your game if you are planning to graduate this year.


Professor McCarthy.

8.50 AM

<sent at 8.50 AM>

holls, where are you? im at our usual spot. get here asap. urgent!

<sent at 8.50 AM>

omw, mate! be there in 5ish.

8.56 AM

“Holls! Over here!”

“What’s going on?”

“Please tell me, I might have called you or something last night,” she said as she glides the note over to her friend, Holland.

“Bloody hell! What did you do last night, Dar?”

“I haven’t got a bloody clue, Holls. So, I didn’t call or text you last night?”

“Nope. You said you’re going into your hermit mode because you’re meeting Professor McCarthy this morning. How’s the meeting anyway? She ain’t making it hard, is she?”

“Nuh, she cancelled on the last minute. She needs to go to a seminar or whatever. After this sodding note, my sad excuse of thesis is the last of my concern. Dillon wouldn’t do anything crazy, right? It’s not in her nature to wreak havoc, right?”

“I sure hope not, because if Dillon wrote this note, I do not want to be accessories to whatever heinous crime she commit.”

12.13 PM

“Hi Dillon, how are you feeling today?”

“Hi Sally, it’s Darcy today,” Darcy said as she look flustered for not knowing what to do around the room.

“Ah sorry. You haven’t been here awhile. Is something amiss? Would you like to sit first?”

“I think Dillon left me this note. I’m scared she has done something bad.”

“When did you found the note?”

“This morning, on my door. She must have left it last night, because when I came back from class, I saw nothing on my door.”

“Do you remember anything from last night?”

She bit her lips hard, trying to focus her memories back. Calling all available deities that her memories will return and help her sort out this mess. She vaguely remember a knock on the door. Her flatmates going door to door offering food; scrambled eggs and omelettes. She took a couple of scrambled eggs to sustain her hermit mode.

“I remember I had a couple of scrambled eggs. I think my flatmates were cooking or something. I was planning to finish my thesis draft because I’m supposed to meet my Professor the next day.”

“Anything else after that? Did it taste weird? Probably it was tampered with?”

“The scrambled eggs? I don’t think so. It was a regular ones with mushroom…s. Oh bloody hell! Of course they would put Psilocybin mushroom in it! They did, didn’t they?”

“They did what Darcy? What did your flat mates did?”

“Sorry, Sally. It’s Dillon, now. I didn’t know it was psilocybin mushroom until I started seeing colours.”

“What’s a Psilocybin mushroom?”

“Colloquially known as shrooms or magic mushroom. It’s a recreational drug. It can cause euphoria, altered thinking process, closed and open-eye visuals, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences.”

15.15 PM

Feeling both tired and confused, not to mention scared, she walked back to her flat. She had another episode during her session with her therapist, Sally. She was trying to remember what was weird about the scrambled eggs from last night when Dillon took control. After the session, she was back and seeing that Sally didn’t think anything was amiss from her session with Dillon, Darcy was sent home with a note of ‘taking it easy and getting plenty of rest’. Sally did mention that Dillon was too busy ranting about everything there is to know about Psilocybin mushroom that Sally didn’t have enough time to ask about the note before Darcy showed up again.

17.24 PM

“Holls, what do you think Dillon did? She must have done something, right? I mean, she left me a note. She doesn’t usually did anything like that.”

“Look, there’s no point in trying to remember when you can’t. Why don’t you just finish your draft, lest you’re too occupied with the note and when Professor McCarthy is back, you’re in much more shit if you’re not done yet. For all we know, Dillon could be just joking.”

“It’s Dillon we’re talking about, there’s no way she knows what a joke is, Holls.”

“Just prioritise, mate. An obscure note or a more tangible responsibility to finish your thesis?”

“Must you be the voice of reason right now?”

“Someone has to.”

17.30 PM

While waiting for her laptop to boot, Darcy really couldn’t help but trying to decipher the note. “Oh, God forbid Dillon killed someone. She wouldn’t, would she?”


Her laptop automatically showed her last opened windows, which happened to be her Word file of her finished draft of her thesis’ third chapter.

Her. FINISHED. Draft. Of. Her. Thesis’. Third. Chapter.

“Bloody hell.”

20.13 PM

<sent at 20.13 PM>

Holls, you up? need to call you. asap!

<sent at 20.15 PM>

totes. sorry. was in the loo. what’s up? do you need me to come?

<sent at 20.15 PM>

yeah, would be better. bring crisps on your way. thanks, mate.

20.20 PM

Currently Darcy is feeling a lot of emotion, starting from relief to anger, and much more recently, frustration, but a good kind of frustration, if there is anything such as that. She was pacing around her room, waiting for Holland when a knock on her door stopped her on her track. Without  a shadow of doubt, she really hopes that the knock came from Holland, because then she can convince herself that what she had found in her laptop was not a figment of her imagination.

“Crisps are here to save the day, Dar. What’s going on?”

“Check out my laptop and tell me what you see,” Darcy said as she took the crisps from Holland’s hands.

“Isn’t this supposed to be part of your thesis? Chapter three, I presume? A draft of it?”


“I don’t quite understand what you mean.”

“Chapter three! The body part of my thesis! The bane of my existence. The very thing that I’ve been complaining about the past months! The reason why I decided to go into hermit mode! The trigger to my stress, which eventually triggers Dillon. And, Dillon being Dillon, she’s taking care of the body!”

“Bloody hell! She meant the body of your thesis! Not a proper body! Bloody hell, Dillon!”

“Dillon is telling me that she’s taken care of the body and she’s leaving the rest to me, which includes the conclusion part and the revision that would come with it!”

“Bloody brilliant!”

“Here I thought Dillon was out killing my flat mate for partying.”

Jakarta, 16 December 2016