When you get lost

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde Book Cover The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde
Eve Chase
gothic, historical romance
Michael Joseph
2018-04
400

In the heatwave of 1959, four sisters arrive at Applecote Manor to relive their memories of hazy Cotswolds summers. They find their uncle and aunt still reeling from the disappearance of their only daughter, five years before. An undercurrent of dread runs through the house. Why did Audrey vanish? Who is keeping her fate secret? As the sisters are lured into the mystery of their missing cousin, the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. One which will leave blood on their hands, and put another girl in danger decades later . . .

A sad story of a family loss. and the on-going impact of just what happened five years before, and how the parents of Audrey coped.

I am not always a fan of literature set in the 1950s as it is some ways not far enough away to count as historical, but not near enough to be contemporary, yet this novel was so well written that it got over that reluctance. It described the Cotswolds well –  I have visited often and so am familiar with it, and even contemplated living in one of its villages, but far too expensive now!

I enjoyed the story and thought the style good. I am not sure though that I would read another novel set in this period.

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I Couldn’t Sleep!

While You Sleep Book Cover While You Sleep
Stephanie Merrit
gothic, psychological, thriller,
HarperCollins
Oct 2018

A pacy, chilling psychological thriller, set to reinvent the genre.

It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.

For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched.

The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides' dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all too real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?

This is a seriously creepy story – ideal to be told by those camping bonfires at night and in haunted house tours by the side of a blazing fire!

Those dreams – and what of the boy? And the bookseller? and…

Whilst the haunted house on a remote Scottish island could be considered a somewhat cliched start to a story with the single and fearless women determined to live in it, the story digresses quickly from the cliche and twists and turns into a guessing game. whilst it still continued to have odd cliched moments, I found the ending great as it just leaves you wondering. A true ghost story where you believe or you don’t but you can’t make a rational explanation for everything – or can you?

Really enjoyed this story and delighted to find a new author.

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The mythical day

Devil's Day Book Cover Devil's Day
Andrew Michael Hurley
gothic, horror
John Murray
October 19, 2017
304

The second novel from the Costa winning and bestselling author of The Loney In the wink of an eye, as quick as a flea, The Devil he jumped from me to thee. And only when the Devil had gone, Did I know that he and I'd been one . . . Every autumn, John Pentecost returns to the farm where he grew up to help gather the sheep down from the moors for the winter. Very little changes in the Endlands, but this year, his grandfather - the Gaffer - has died and John's new wife, Katherine, is accompanying him for the first time. Each year, the Gaffer would redraw the boundary lines of the village, with pen and paper, but also through the remembrance of tales and timeless communal rituals, which keep the sheep safe from the Devil. But as the farmers of the Endlands bury the Gaffer, and prepare to gather the sheep, they begin to wonder whether they've let the Devil in after all . . . ********** Praise for Andrew Michael Hurley's The Loney 'An amazing piece of fiction' Stephen King 'A masterful excursion into terror' Sunday Times 'Modern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be both' Sunday Telegraph 'Nuanced, deliberate and building insensibly from a murmur to a shriek. The Loney is an unforgettable addition to the ranks of the best British horror' Metro 'Guaranteed to give you the chills, whatever the weather . . . superb' Independent

I was not sure what to make of this book and the stories told within it.

Somehow the stories were about times too recent for such mythology.

And I was worried bout in-breeding in the village as it was such a cut-off community.

it seemed to me that the countryside described was more like Cornwall or deep Somerset than the Pennines, or even the Lake District – but maybe the Borders? Certainly the Norse raiders got there..

So whilst worrying about all these, perhaps irrelevant items, I lost the plot. Literally and failed to finish the book.

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Pursuing Time

Through Time - Pursuit Book Cover Through Time - Pursuit
Through Time
Claudy Conn
romance, gothic, time travel
Amazon Media

Milesian immortal Chancemont LeBlanc is determined to avenge his sister’s death at the hands of the Dark Prince Pestale, who remains free after the war between the Seelie Fae and the Dark Fae. Nothing will stop Chance from fulfilling his mission of vengeance, not even the time barrier.
The Queen of the Seelie Fae has other ideas, however, and she sends Princess Royce to make sure Pestale is captured, not killed. Royce would rather spend time with the human family she has grown to love, but she has broken the rules one time too many, and Queen Aaibhe wants her to grow up and act like the Seelie Royal she is.
Royce doesn’t want to be part of Chance’s team. He most definitely doesn’t want her on his team. And from the moment they meet—fireworks.
Chance has Pestale on the run, but after seeing the beautiful princess with the flaming red hair, Pestale has decided Royce must be his.
A hunter becomes the hunted … purposes collide … in Through Time—Pursuit

I thought this was a very derivative story. And having complicated mock Gaelic names didn’t improve the ease of reading.

What was unclear was – as someone who knows these countries well – Scotland and Ireland are different countries! They are not parts of the same one. They speak different languages – or versions of Gaelic – and have very different myths and folk lore. It is very mistaken to link them as though they were one.

I really fail to see how so many other stories have come from this one.

 

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Possession explained

red hotThis is a sort story set within the Crimson and Clover Series, but only to be found in the Red Hot Sizzle book. 

Giselle, her Step-Mum, Dad and her Sister are all killed when their car crashes.

But.

They come from a family of witches, warlocks, mind readers, elementalists, telekinisists and others with supernatural abilities.

So what happens is that Giselle’s soul or consciousness remains tethered to her worldly body rather than floating off as it should.

But in order to remain corporeal

Giselle needs a host body to inhabit – share. She can choose her host and whether or not to control it – use it as a body bag or just remain within and share its experiences. But the hosts available to her are not permanent she feels and also discovers that she compromises their life expectancy; and so she keeps searching – for a host she can control and that will be living the life with which she is comfortable and which she can enjoy for a long time.

This is a possession story from the point of view of the possessor rather than the possessed and explores why they are doing this and what they are looking for.

The story is told with empathy for Giselle,  and then we begin to discover her real personality coming through – the selfishness of wanting to continue to live at the expense of someone else’s life and the desire that this would not be her only chance at life – the desire to continue to live in another’s body for a many years as she could manage – life after life after life.

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