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The String Diaries

Lloyd Jones, Stephen (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The String Diaries
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A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity. The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night--her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves? Stephen Lloyd Jones's debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion--a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them. If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.
Authors: Lloyd Jones, Stephen
Title: The string diaries
Publisher: New York :, Mulholland Books, Little, Brown and Company,, 2014
Edition: First North American Edition
Characteristics: 423 pages ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Stephen Lloyd Jones
Notes: Originally published in Great Britain by Headline Publishing Group, July 2013
"A novel"--Jacket
Summary: A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity. The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night--her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves? Stephen Lloyd Jones's debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion--a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them. If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.
ISBN: 0316254460
9780316254465
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY LLOYDJONE 2014
Copyright Date: ©2013
Subject Headings: Diaries Fiction
Genre/Form: Horror fiction
Suspense fiction
Mystery fiction
Topical Term: Diaries
LCCN: 2014931255
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maybe it gets better--i couldn't get past the second chapter--but the writing is better in the weekly television listings.

Sep 06, 2014
  • Danibrarian rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The book opens with a tense and frenetic race to escape an unseen predator who can take the form of anyone -- leaving Hannah Wilde, her young daughter and her bleeding husband in a state of terror and adrenaline. When the book moves on to other characters: a shapeshifter in 19th Century Hungary, and a pompous professor meeting a sassy and secretive French woman at 1970s era Oxford University, the tension gradually lessens until the story is no longer frightening. While this is an intriguing read, the horror aspects drain away quickly, until it is merely dramatic rather than terrifying.
This would make a good horror movie, in the hands of a director who knew what to cut. As for the ambitious time-layered story, Stephen Lloyd-Jones' book is good, but Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian does every bit of it better -- including a more suspenseful and fulfilling ending.

September 2013 Thrillers and Suspense newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=674857

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app03 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49