The Plague Stones by James Brogden – An Audio Book Review

Plague Stones


Fleeing from a traumatic break-in, Londoners Paul and Tricia Feenan sell up to escape to the isolated Holiwell village where Tricia has inherited a property. Scattered throughout the settlement are centuries-old stones used during the Great Plague as boundary markers. No plague-sufferer was permitted to pass them and enter the village. The plague diminished, and the village survived unscathed, but since then each year the village trustees have insisted on an ancient ceremony to renew the village boundaries, until a misguided act by the Feenans’ son then reminds the village that there is a reason traditions have been rigidly stuck to, and that all acts of betrayal, even those committed centuries ago, have consequences….

Author: James Brogden

Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 9hrs 33mins (300 pages on Kindle)

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Audio Release Date: 2nd February 2021

My Rating of ‘The Plague Stones’: 3 out of 5

Purchase: Audible, Amazon


I’d never tried a book by James Brogden before and went in pretty blind with regards to what to expect. It was a mixed one for me, as is evident by the 3 out of 5 score, but it was certainly on the enjoyable side of the 3 stars.

Personally, for the length of this novel, I felt it was a bit too much of a slow-burn. Most of the novel feels as though it’s very much setting the scene for the big horror fest at the end. A horror fest that feels like it would be a bit more at home on the big screen rather than between the pages of a book. For me the horror aspect was a bit too much in your face and, as such, I never had that ‘I’m creeped out’ vibe that is the main reason I pick a horror up for.

Due to the slow-burn scene setting, the major plot points were pretty much easy to guess but it didn’t really detract from the enjoyment too much. I liked the majority of the characters and the way the rich/poor divide was utilised certainly aided things as far as character motivations and development went.

There are parts of the novel that happen during the time of the black death, these pretty much set up why the hauntings are occurring etc … On the whole they’re done pretty well but they never really made me feel too invested with the characters of that time. I feel like I was supposed to feel sorry for certain characters, but later actions/reasoning for said actions sapped that from me pretty quick. In fact, on the whole, I didn’t really feel like I cared too much if anyone character/group of characters succeeded/had a happy ending.

It isn’t the sort of horror I’d recommend for someone who enjoys being creeped out by the story they’re reading/listening to, but if the overt horror style is more your thing then this might well be worth picking up.

The narration was excellent. The only slight negative in that respect would be that some of the accents and voices were a bit samey in a noticeable way.


8 thoughts on “The Plague Stones by James Brogden – An Audio Book Review

  1. Out of curiosity, when do you listen to the audiobooks, Aaron? I can’t do anything beyond simple house chores/driving when I’m listening, and listening to audiobooks takes much longer for me than actual reading – I was wondering if you had some smart solution to this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m lucky that my work lets me have my bone conduction headphones. So i can listen for a good 3-4 hours a day at work. I also like to chill out at the end of the day with a long walk and an audio book. Or when driving. I live alone as well and don’t really listen to music or watch tv. So for noise in the house I have an audio book or podcast on the go a lot of the time.

      I’m an oddity haha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey there, Aaron! It’s been a while! Stumbled upon a comment of yours on another blog and thought I’d reconnect with you hahah I hope you’ve been well since the last time we exchanged! This audiobook does sound like it has its flaws, a bit difficult to connect with the horror, and really enjoy the slow-burn. Glad it wasn’t a complete flop though. Great thoughts!


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