Posts Tagged ‘Ghost’

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle

December 26, 2017 - 10:23 pm No Comments

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 9th December 2017
189 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

If you were asked living or dead, which authors you would pick to have at a dinner party, I can guarantee at least one of the great Victorian writers would be on your list. Masters of storytelling, their written stories are still read today.
An old Victorian manuscript is found in a derelict building. Penned by Arthur Conan Doyle, it captures 14 stories regaled to him, Henry James and Bram Stoker when other authors are invited to dine with them.
Before I review this book, there is a disclaimer, I have not read some of these author’s original works. However, after I read this book, I did google these authors to see what works they wrote.
So, with all these stories, there is a lot of choice and for this review I will write about my favourites.
The Immortal Memory: Leo Tolstoy: When Empress Yekaterina Alexeyevna requested a Scottish poet, who could narrate Burn’s in Russian, Captain Marsh knew he had his work cut out. The story is very descriptive of living in Russia, and how certain people suffered to survive. A tragic ending which has an impact on others.
To the Manor Born: Margaret Oliphant: Young Agnus Leckie, was the new maid at the Manor. Trading jobs, she soon gets introduced to the lady of the house. Throughout this story you can feel the love that the master had for his family. A harrowing ghost story that is beautifully written and with a poetic ending.
The Angry Ghost: Oscar Wilde: Tom had always been told by his Aunt Agatha that there were no such things as ghost. Aunt Agatha was a bitter woman who always thought she was right and reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s character Lady Bracknell in the Importance of Being Ernest. This was a comical read with a fitting ending.
The Curious Affair on the Embankment: Arthur Conan Doyle: Inspector Lestrade has been brought into a case of a missing lady. The only stipulation from the powers at be, is that he cannot involve Sherlock Holmes. Lestrade is drawn into the paranormal and must keep his cool when evil prevails. When I have read Sherlock Holmes stories, I have always felt that Lestrade was a bit of an idiot, so this was a refreshing change. Lestrade was very methodical as if he used Holmes powers of deduction. A paranormal mystery which will keep you gripped.
If you have read Songs of the Dreaming Gods, you will find 3 further stories of interest. The High Bungalow: Rudyard Kipling, In the House of the Dead: Bram Stoker and The Scrimshaw Set: Henry James. All three have elements of this book in them and I enjoyed the merging of the author’s work.
The introduction to each story gives it a personal touch and sets the scene for what’s to come. This is book showcases the author’s talents of writing in numerous styles. A great read that spirits you away to Victorian times.

Friends Like Us by Rob Shepherd

October 13, 2017 - 9:53 pm No Comments

Friends Like Us by Rob Shepherd
Published by Stanhope Books on 21st November 2015
130 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


When Ryan, Caitlin, Lucas, Kayla, Mia and Oliver, friends since childhood go on holiday in a secluded cottage, what they want is a relaxing break away, what they got was a night of terror.
From the start of the story, you sensed that Oliver was always on the edge of the group. Suffering from depression, you knew that something had happened in his life, but it was not until he spent time with Caitlin that he opens up and tells her about his past, it was after this that he wanted to start living.
When the group was looking for something to pass the time, I was expecting the complimentary Ouija board to make an appearance, so I was surprised when it was a book that caused the problems. When something went wrong with Oliver, you could feel the group’s anguish and whilst I did not agree with their decisions, you had the feeling that they had no choice. The group’s death scenes had a twist and were vivid, it was like watching the action through a camera lens.
This book had the feel of “I know what you do last summer” to it, but the action happened all in one night. Whilst this is a horror story, it is also a story about unrequited love and guilt. This is a quick read, with an emotional charged ending.

 

The Haunter of the Moor: An Irish Ghost Story by Jeffrey Kosh

June 19, 2017 - 9:14 pm No Comments

The Haunter of the Moor: An Irish Ghost Story by Jeffrey Kosh

Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 13th February 2016

212 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Patrick Conroy was studying to be a doctor, wanting to go back to his ancestral roots, he goes to university in Dublin. Like the majority of students; he partied hard with very little studying. As his finals got closer he began to panic so decided to find a remote village so he could concentrate on his studies. Settling up on Ballymore, Patrick stays at Talbot house a manor steeped in dark history.

Patrick as a medical student did not believe in the supernatural, and whilst he listened to Siobhan and Maggie, I think at the start he was humouring them. The deeper he investigated the mystery, the more confused he got, he did not know who to trust even though his heart wanted to believe Maggie. Always the true gent, there was a funny moment when he ran outside and forgot to put his trousers on, all because of the barking dogs.

Reading this book, you can tell that it is well researched, whether it is the flowing language or the Irish history and folklore. Written from Patrick’s POV, helps make this story more intense as you feel that you are observing Patrick doubt his own sanity. Patrick’s journal was used to help explain the supernatural element, given it the feel that he did not believe what he was writing and also showed how folklore is twisted to suit the teller. Just as I thought it was ending in on a cliff-hanger, in stepped Father Wales a very staunch catholic priest, reading Patrick’s story from the priest’s POV helped explain more of the folklore and just how much trouble Patrick was in.

A creepy story with a traditional gothic feel to it.

 

Aletheia by JS Breukelaar

March 24, 2017 - 5:33 pm No Comments

Aletheia by JS Breukelaar

Published by Crystal Lake publishing on 24th March 2017

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Thettie Harpur was going home, after 10 years away, wanting to make peace with her cousin Frankie. Going back to Little Ridge, brings back memories and even though the town has changed, people’s views of the Harpur clan hasn’t. Running the clan now was Doc Murphy, a man with a dangerous past who was not one to share his secrets. On arriving Thettie meets up with a local artist who is still haunted by the disappearance of his son and the death of his wife. His only friend is Vernon, a Gila Monster, a lizard rescued from a medical lab whose venom had amazing qualities. Can Thettie get to the mysterious Island and make peace with Frankie? and who is Bryce and why did she find out the Harpurs?

Throughout the book, you are introduced to a lot of characters, each having their individual story but each story interlinked. Whilst reading this book, I felt that Thettie although having all her family around her was a very lonely woman, moving back to Little Ridge brought back a lot of memories and she had a lot of guilt, she only showed her true self when she was with Lee. At the beginning of the book, I could not connect with Bryce and it was not until further into the story that I started to understand her purpose.  Lee and Thettie’s story was at times harrowing and I could not understand how Lee could suffer any more pain. I was intrigued with Aunt Sarey and wanted to know more about her and her strange dogs.

This is a very in-depth book and I found that it was a book that I had to take my time reading. It’s a story about love, betray and loss and is most definitely not your normal ghost story. The detailed writing especially the scenes on the lake added mystery to the book and you do wonder what it under the lake.  Whilst I do not judge a book by its cover, this is beautifully drawn and I feel that the cover captures Thettie sadness. A good story and a book that I will re-read as I am sure I will find something that I had missed.

 

Trying to Be so Quiet

July 22, 2016 - 1:02 am No Comments

Trying to be so Quiet by James Everington
Published by Boo Books on 12th July 2016s
52 pages

Reviewer: Yvonne Davies

 

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This story is about a man who has recently lost his wife Lizzie from Cancer, set over a couple of months after her death; it follows his life whilst he comes to terms with his loss.
This book is described as a ghost story, but the way the author has written this book, I think it is more than a ghost story. It is a story about bereavement and how the main character tries and gets on with his life. Whilst you are reading this book you really identify with the main character and you can feel his pain whilst he tries to just survive.

Throughout the house there are memories and he thinks that he is seeing Lizzie, is it a ghost or is it his grief playing tricks? Cracks appear in the house again; I felt that it was the cracks appearing in his life. I enjoyed how the author took him back to Oxford where he reminisced about where they met and were happier. This was the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Although this is a short story there was so much packed in to the story it made a quick read, and you will  be lost in the story. Whilst you are reading, this have some tissues nearby because you will shed a tear at the raw grief.

A must read, it was wonderful