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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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15 March 2015

Do I bother you at night? 
Troy Aaron Ratliff
Troy Aaron Ratliff
Publication Date
October 2013

Book Description (from Amazon)

They say nothing ever happens in Kansas. 

Sylvester Petersen used to think so too. That is, until a mysterious new neighbor moves in next door, seemingly out of nowhere. His handful of friends – people who tried to help him cope with the sudden death of his wife – think that it might be an opportunity for him to get reacquainted with the world outside his farmhouse and to build a new relationship with his neighbor. But that idea is soon snuffed out as strange events begin to happen around him. None of them wrong. Just strange: driving in the middle of the night, the sulfur-like odor coming off of him, the fact he doesn’t talk to anyone. 

And what about that dog? 

Sylvester chooses the logical explanation and ignores the peculiar behavior. But when other oddities start to happen – the kind that affects Sylvester directly – he begins to worry. His reasoning dwindles and his growing fear points to his neighbor. 

Where is that stray dog going? 

After enough time, Sylvester starts to see and hear what the local people have been muttering about: Unexplainable blue light, corn crops moving on their own…and then there's the slaughtered cattle entirely too close to home. 

And that stray dog that keeps getting fatter and fatter and fatter. 

At the peak of summer, and with the walls closing in, Sylvester experiences something that will take him to the brink and haunt you forever. 

Bathed in loss, terror and human spirit, Do I Bother You at Night? will be a story you won’t forget and one that will give you a few restless evenings of your own. 

Love thy neighbor.

My review

First impressions: I liked both the 'question' title and the cover which reminded me of Stephen King's small-town America. 

Sylvester is the main character of this book and I liked him straight away. He is a simple farmer tending his corn fields but already in the first chapters we learn that he suffered a very traumatic bereavement when his wife took her own life. He has a few friends in town, but generally his life is a lonely one. Strange happenings start to creep into his life. It is cleverly written and I wasn't sure until the end whether we are dealing with 'real' horror here or whether it's all in Sylvester's mind. 

The build-up is slow but not boring by any means. There is horror and a touch of sci-fi. Apart from the story about 'there is something out there in the corn' and the going ons with the creepy neighbour, this is also a very touching and beautifully sad story about bereavement, trying to cope with the violent loss of your big love. I had the feeling that Sylvester and Maria were very close, it was a bit like 'us agains the rest of the world'. And then it becomes 'Sylvester against the creeps'. 

What also stuck out for me where the descriptions of the monster Sylvester encounters. A very skilled writer who can come up with the creatures and I could  picture them perfectly in front of my eye whilst reading. The author certainly has a skill for good story-telling.

Completely unrelated to the story, I also enjoyed the afterthoughts of the writer, telling us how he came up with the story and finally put the story together after

I received this book from the author in return for an honest review. 

About the author

Troy Aaron Ratliff was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio and self educated in writing, art, and voice impersonations. When he's not reading, writing, sketching, or cooking up his next monstrosity, you can generally find him defending the galaxy from the forces of evil, feeding hippopotamuses, dining with foreign dignitaries and Zen masters, waking up to his supermodel wife, altering the space-time inter-dimensional warp or, more than likely, stuck in traffic somewhere in Southern California on his magic carpet.