Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Excerpt, Horror Fiction, Noir, Novella, Short stories, Suspense

Ryder On The Storm Ray Clark 4* #Review @T1LOM #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup #Supernatural #CrimeFiction #Novella #ShortStories #Excerpt #BlogTour #BookReview #bookbloggers

#RyderOnTheStorm

When builder Terry Johnson spots what he thinks is a bargain he can’t resist but to succumb to temptation. The large, detached house stands on the side of a railway track and would be perfect for his needs … and it’s cheap! 

But Billington Manor has a very tainted history, and the grounds upon which it stands were part of an unsolved murder back in the 1850s. Terry is about to discover that the road to hell is not always paved with good intentions.

Based upon a true incident, Ryder On The Storm is a stand-alone supernatural crime novella from the author of the IMP series, featuring desk sergeant Maurice Cragg.  

Amazon UK

Excerpt from Ryder OnThe Storm – Ray Clark

Terry slammed the door shut.

His head was all over the place, not to mention his stomach. If he’d eaten anything at all he was sure it would have reappeared. Pins and needles raced up and down both his arms.

What the fuck had he walked into? Was George a ghost? Was he being haunted? Is that what the Billingtons had been on about when they said “he’d” take care of the place. And who exactly were the Billingtons? What part did they play in it all?

Excerpt from Ryder OnThe Storm – Ray Clark.
#RyderOnTheStorm

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The blurb for the first story in this book intrigued me. I like stories with a supernatural element. This story starts in the past with the discovery of a body. Then in the present day, a builder is viewing an old house with a view to redevelopment. The elderly couple are strange and the logistics of the sale is similarly odd, but the builder’s eyes are focused on profit.

What follows is suspenseful and dark. I read it through twice, and the second time it resonated. The twist of the story is a popular one, but it is effectively used here. The more you think about it, the darker it becomes.

The other three short stories feature the author’s characters from the IMP series, which I haven’t read. The first two are Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries. Each is prefaced with an author’s note detailing how the story came about. This has intrinsic interest and puts each short story in context. The stories are well-plotted with complex characters and decent twists. All have engaging settings. Each delivers a good murder-mystery, and police procedural genre story.

I enjoyed reading all of these stories, perhaps the last three short stories are my favourite, and make me want to read the IMP series.

#RayClark

The British Fantasy Society published Ray Clark’s first work in 1995 – Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, was nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards. In 2009, Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep, made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. Ray is based in Goole and has set his Gardener and Reilly crime series in nearby Leeds.

Posted in Book Review

While You Sleep -Stephanie Merritt – 5*Review

 

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?

 Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Gothic and creepy this story has all the components of a gripping, intense psychological thriller;  the unreliable protagonist, the lines between imagination and reality blurred and a cast of characters, any of whom could be the antagonist.  Where it differs is its quirky, supernatural content, which  I loved. Combined with a vivid, gothic setting it introduces an added dimension into the plot, increasing the tension and drawing the reader into a living nightmare of past and present.

Zoe’s arrival on the island is shrouded in mystery, is she running away from a dominating husband or trying to escape herself and her secrets? The village appears friendly and gossipy, as you imagine living in a small community would be, but the house she is renting has a tragic past, but is this fact or fable? Everyone has an opinion but whose can she trust?

There is a disturbing, sexual thread to this story that increases the menace and brings Zoe’s state of mind into question. The sensual scenes are well written, but the implicit threat to Zoe’s safety gives them an ominous quality.

The story is fast-paced and packed with detail, its an exciting plot and each page bring the reader closer to the truth that when finally revealed is even more terrible than any gothic horror story.

Realistic and often sinister characters, an intense plot in a  dramatic, unforgiving island setting make ‘While You Sleep’, a psychological thriller with a gothic twist, a thought-provoking, page-turning read.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK, Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

 

Posted in Blogging Communty, Writing Journey

Have You Ever Stayed in a Haunted House?

At the weekend my husband and I were looking at holiday cottages on the internet. We came across a lovely property which was pleasantly furnished and would let us take our two dogs then I saw it – the suit of armour in the living room and I knew nothing could convince me to stay at that house.

Image credit Rama. Medieval armour complete. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Maximilienne-p1000557.jpg

 Where did this ‘strange’ phobia originate?

Many years ago when I was about ten I stayed at an old rambling house in Exmouth Devon England. The house was spacious and able to accommodate my parents, grandparents and me with ease. The only drawback was some of the artifacts it housed.

It also had a weird atmosphere  that my mother noticed  as soon as she went in. Being so young  I didn’t know why the house felt creepy just that it did.

The house had three floors and I slept on the first floor in a room across from my grandparents. My parents slept on the top floor and in their room was  a suit of armour.

Even in the daylight the ambience of the room was odd. At night my mother heard noises. She dismissed these at first. It was an old house and bound to have creaky floor boards and squeaky door hinges  and suspect plumbing but would this account for the clanking she heard in the dead of night which seemed to stem from the room she was asleep in?

My father never heard a thing sleeping deeply all the time my mother lay frightened in bed. The following morning  she dismissed what she heard as an overactive imagination but was it?

I slept badly the whole time we were there and finally I spent part of the night in my mother’s room  whilst my father slept downstairs. That night my mother woke and saw the suit of armor which stood against the wall closest to the foot of the bed move. I slept through it all safe now I was with my mother .  Half asleep my mother wasn’t too disturbed  she had  experienced paranormal happenings before. It was only when she recalled what she saw in the cold light of morning that she wondered if the house was haunted. It must have spooked her because we left the following day and stayed elsewhere and now whenever I see  a suit of armour I always remember that house and the way it made me feel and my mother’s experience with the  strange suit of armour in her bedroom.

Have you ever stayed or lived in a haunted house or a house with an atmosphere? I would love to know. 🙂

Ghostly Encounters in the Lakes? Read Here.