The Sick House by Ambrose Ibsen

Narrator: Jake Urry

Publisher: Ambrose Ibsen (2016)

Length: 6 hours 48 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Ulrich Files

Author’s Page

Harlan Ulrich is a private investigator and he’s just about out of coffee. He needs a case that will pay well enough to make rent and replenish his kitchen. Dr. Klein has gone missing and his friend has already checked all the usual possibilities. He needs a professional to investigate. So Ulrich is off to the small town of Moonville, Dr. Klein’s last known location.

This was a dark piece of fiction that kept me entertained. It wasn’t a gore fest, which I was concerned about due to the cover art. There was some descriptive scary bits here and there but it wasn’t gratuitous. Ulrich is an interesting character. With a name like Harlan Ulrich, how could he not be? He has this coffee fetish that keeps coming up throughout the story. The quality of the coffee really affects his mood and I can understand that. I say better no coffee than bad coffee.

Set in mostly in Moonville, Ohio, the folks are small-town minded. They like to keep their town secrets and while curious about outsiders, they aren’t jumping to open up about the past. Ulrich has to do some digging to learn about the Sick House, which was an infirmary run by nuns and was shut down some decades ago. Dr. Klein once worked there and Ulrich makes a visit to the run down place. What he finds gives him the creeps and he’s hesitant to return a second time.

Mysterious notes follow and he finds a person who once worked there that can shed some light on the past. Here is the one weak spot in the plot. Once a certain character is brought up, it really becomes clear what happened so the rest of the book is just watching Ulrich piece it together and find evidence. It was still an entertaining read. I really didn’t know if Ulrich would fall prey to some supernatural entity and have to make a run for it (there’s at least 3 books in the series, so I know he lives) or perhaps burn the place down. So that was exciting to see how the author would wrap things up in a way that leaves Ulrich and his travel coffee mug free to do PI stuff another day.

The ending was a satisfying one. Old wrongs are acknowledged and some things are set to rights. The mystery of the missing Dr. Klein is neatly wrapped up. I look forward to Book 2!

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

The Narration: Jake Urry has a mesmerizing voice. I really do like it but here I have to give him a B for final product even as I give him an A for effort. He has an English accent that he does a pretty good job of tucking away for this Ohio based story. Yet sometimes there are certain words that get a very distinct English accent. Still, even with this, I really liked his voice for Ulrich. He has a rich deep voice that can gripe about bad coffee or show fear in the face of some paranormal unknown. Urry also did a great job with keeping his character voices distinct and his female voices were pretty good.

What I Liked: Mysterious, a little creepy, but not a gore fest; the small town setting; nuns; abandoned infirmary; a dark history for the Sick House; Ulrich’s coffee fetish; Urry’s narration even with the English accent.

What I Disliked: At a certain point in the story, the rest of the plot became very clear. It was still entertaining to watch Ulrich figure it out. There were certain words that had a distinct English accent for the narration, which was at odds with the Ohio setting.

What Others Think:

The Page Turner

Mia Celeste

The Haunted Reading Room