Sunday, 17 August 2014

Book Impressions - A Gathering of Ghosts by David Haynes

I'll confess I was a little worried after reading the first two stories in this collection of ghost stories. They were finely written and I enjoyed reading them but they were a little predictable. And predictable isn't something I've previously encountered with this author's work. I guess that's one of the perils with writing stories based on a story form as old as humanity itself.

The good news is that I needn't have worried. With the very next tale we went from merely excellent to simply superb. And that held true for the rest of the book. There are familiar themes here and the author transcends them with his unique style. For me the strongest story (and worth reading the collection alone for) is The Last Waltz. This is a heart breaking tale of sublime beauty and I found no horror here, only a tale of heartbreaking sadness and the ending is superb. I also loved the device that the story revolves around.

Like most of his author books the stories are set in and around Victorian Britain and bring with it the charm and the dirt of that period. The atmosphere of the time is captured well and lends the stories a grounded feel despite the fantastical nature of them.

If you're a fan of Victorian era horror or ghost stories then this is a collection well worth seeking out.

Click on image to buy book from Amazon

In the shadows of Victorian England, the ghosts are gathering. Prepare to have your blood chilled by six tales of fear and phantasmagoria…

The Silent Bell: A doctor’s invention to prevent people being accidentally buried alive backfires on him with horrific results.

The Stonegate Manor Collection: Lord Feltham’s paintings are worth a fortune, but also conceal a gruesome tragedy that has yet more lives to claim.

The Haunting of Reverend Carson: The charlatan Musgrave makes a living pretending to talk to the dead, until he discovers his new client’s demons are more than merely spiritual.

The Last Waltz: Through that miracle of technology, the Zoopraxiscope, a lonely man’s long-lost love is brought back to life before his very eyes.

The Speaking Tube: John Barker is consumed with hatred for his malicious father and torments him with voices from hell, unaware of how close to the abyss he is himself.

The Ghost Train: Alone aboard an empty train running along a dead track, Godfrey witnesses the grotesque secret that is entombed beneath Paddington Station.

Go deeper into David Haynes’s world of the macabre…

Click here to buy A Gathering of Ghosts from Amazon (and you really should it's a spookily good read!)

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