MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:
This is the first part of a trilogy. It starts in 1950’s Liverpool and concerns Dominic Sheldrake and his friends Roberta(Bobby) and Jim, known as the Tremendous Three. Dominic and Jim go an school trip to France. This is billed as a history trip, exploring the battlefields of WW1, and is organised by Christopher Noble their teacher. But is his reasons behind the trip purely educational or is something more sinister at play?
Meanwhile Mrs Norris, a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts the bereaved in touch with their dead relatives. Mr Noble has ties with this church and it is said that not only can he put you in touch with your departed ones, but can bring them back to life. But not as they were before!
Is this is what is happening in the Norris household as neighbours overhear Mrs Norris arguing with someone and her dog clearly agitated and barking and disturbing the peace. This comes to head during the street party to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth11. Mrs Norris is taken to hospital, clearly suffering from some sort of breakdown. This is just the start and what could be behind it?
Ramsey recalls the 1950’s so clearly. This first part of the trilogy breathes 1950’s Britain. The end of rationing, the bomb sites and the general greyness that life seemed to have then.
The writing and narrative are superb. The creepiness and general unease this book engenders in the reader is great. If you are looking for a shock horror book then this may not be for you. This is a slow burn of a book where the bogeyman is not in your face but somewhere over your shoulder, just out of sight. You know he’s there but exactly where? That is the unsettling thing. Is this a horror story or a supernatural ghost story. It’s up to you as the reader to judge. But one last word it is good!
Ramsey Campbell was born in Liverpool in 1946and
still lives on Merseyside. The Oxford Companion to
English Literature describes him as “Britain’s most
respected living horror writer”. He has been given more
awards than any other writer in the field, including the
Grand Master Award of the World Horror Convention,
the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers Association, the
Living Legend Award of the International Horror Guild and the World
Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores
University for outstanding services to literature. Among his novels are The
Face That Must Die, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, The Count of Eleven, Silent
Children, The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Overnight, Secret Story, The
Grin of the Dark, Thieving Fear, Creatures of the Pool, The Seven Days of
Cain, Ghosts Know, The Kind Folk, Think Yourself Lucky and Thirteen Days by
Sunset Beach. Needing Ghosts, The Last Revelation of Gla’aki, The Pretence
and The Booking are novellas. His collections include Waking Nightmares,
Alone with the Horrors, Ghosts and Grisly Things, Told by the Dead, Just
Behind You and Holes for Faces ,and his non-fiction is collected as Ramsey
Campbell, Probably. Limericks of the Alarming and Phantasmal are what they
His novels The Nameless, Pact of the Fathers and The Influence have been
filmed in Spain. He is the President of the Society of Fantastic Films.
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