For over a century, the New Hope Island vanishing has tantalized the world. How did 150 people disappear from a lonely Hebridean island, leaving no trace and no clues? Media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to solve the mystery, and gathers a team of experts to mount an expedition to the island. He hopes running the story as a rolling exclusive will revive the fortunes of his flagship news-stand title. He hopes to find conclusive answers to questions that have teased a curious world for decades. And he wants his own secret theory triumphantly vindicated.
But all is not as it should be on the island. A 1930s cinefilm reveals something as terrifying as it is inexplicable. An Afghan war veteran, sent to secure the island before the experts arrive, witnesses a nightmare far beyond battle trauma. And as expedition members gather, they discover to their gruesome cost that there are some mysteries far safer left unsolved...
©2013 F. G. Cottam (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I have slowly become a fan of this author. I started with "The House of Lost Souls" which, honestly, I could take or leave due to the meandering plot and slow pace. I gave him another chance with "Magdalena's Curse" and "The Waiting Room." I have since read/listened to all the author's other works, and, in my opinion, this is his best.
I was snagged right away by the opening chapter. It gave just enough information to keep a horror addict like myself engaged. While the story had a simple enough Roanoke-style premise, the story itself wasn't the hook that kept me engaged. Mr. Cottam seems to have a gift for fleshing out characters to the point of either loving or hating them. Either way, you are interested in what happens to them. I found myself annoyed at times with the attention given to character over plot, but I can chalk that up to my own impatience at wanting to see how characters at another location were behaving or getting along or dying. While I appreciated this development by the end of the book, fair warning, it can be a little slow for those looking for "'popcorn horror." There is an element of romance, but it is not the center element of the story and doesn't detract from appreciation for the creepy, doomed atmosphere.
The ending was supremely satisfying and heroic, especially for a horror novel. I found myself smiling despite the death toll. Again, I can attribute this to character development and the care the author puts into each. The narrator was exceptional, and read so well that the story shined through. I would recommend this to anyone who like horror or adventure. Maybe even romance novels.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Some mixed feelings about this one. The writing was wonderful, the plot sufficiently creepy, but in the end it was fairly predictable in its structure and outcome. The front of the book introduced both the problem and the characters in a manner that had me already guessing who was going to be the first victim to go - I was right - and which characters had the greatest chance of surviving - right again. But Cottam was so good at setting the atmosphere, at describing the feelings of the characters and sending a shiver up my spine that in the end I just rolled with it and enjoyed the ride. I loved the bleak Scottish setting and the historic mystery of the vanishing colony. And the ending was handled well in spite of its predictability. I'd love to see what Cottam could do with a more complex storyline.
The reading was excellent. It was the pacing of the story that occasionally fell short.
Yes. His descriptions were excellent and he knows how to tease out a scene beyond "It was a dark and stormy night.".
He performed the book, he didn't just read it. The pacing of his reading was outstanding.
I was on the edge of my seat through many parts, but at other times, the writer pulled back and "told" the story rather than "showed" the story. His tension was uneven and tended to be anti-climactic.
I will liken the book's pacing to a roller-coaster. At first there is a long, steep climb. Up, Up, Up we went, getting closer and closer to the fateful moment. However, instead of a death-defying drop at the other side of the apex, there were a series of disappointing hillocks. This does not take away from the excellence of the general craftsmanship of the writer which is why I will be pleased to listen to another one of his books.
Expertly rendered ghost story thriller. I got burned out on ghost stories many years ago. However, this is not your typical ghost story. It is kind of a cross between a Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child novel and and an Ira Levin tale.
The writer kept the suspense going right up to an awesome finale. It is difficult for a writer to create this kind of suspense and pull off a finale that is not anti climatic but F. G. Cottam pulled it off.
It was evenly successful.
I am looking forward to listening to more books by this author. I am hoping Audible will offer all of his books in this genre.
Satisfying Ghost Story!!!
Amazing job of presenting the EVIL presence(s). A wonderful modernization of Lovecraftian suspense and satisfaction of morbid curiosity.
He's perfect. He does wonderful, subtle accents and his pacing is perfect accompaniment to the tightly crafted story
Could hardly put it down.
It's so incredibly rare to read a ghost story that both scares and satisfies. I write very few reviews but this book is so good I guarantee that anyone who likes the suspense genre will be glad they found this one!
I didn't realize the simplicity of the basic story until I began telling my partner about the premise. Thus, I myself was amazed at how brilliantly this story was developed and the narration is indeed its equal. It was full of suspense, good character development, and best of all, an ending that wasn't chapters and chapters of "the final battle". I am now a Cottam fan and I am also fond of Rintoul's expert narration. Great combination!
As the headline indicates I thought this a very well written book, the use of language, the fashion the story was crafted in and the cast of characters was tremendous. In this genre it is rare to find a book written with this level of talent. The story is a good one with complex characters and a plot that invests the reader in the way a good book should, I had the audio playing at every opportunity and even did a few extra errands that involved fairly long drives because I knew I had this story on the i-pod and wanted to spend some more time with it. The suspense builds to a climatic ending which carries the only disappointment of ending the book with some loose ends, which are just unavoidable and not a drawback, it is that the book is so good you are sad it ends. I need to say something about the narration, simply it just does not get better than this - really - this is amazing book narration and will lead me to look at what other offerings this narrator has worked on he is that good.
Great story, great cast, unbelievable narration, a very highly recommended audio book
Boring. It started out with such great potential. I was so disappointed. Good reader though.
The story started good and would've ended good, but the author written too much exposition, back story, and going into the past where it isn't needed. I struggled to finish, couldn't grasp what was going on 90% of the time. Next time, the author should spend less time on exposition, and more time on the story itself. I liked the narrator, but his talent is wasted on this bible story. Recommend, rewrite and try again.
I love to read but don't have much time so, listening to books has become a necessary passion. If I can't read, I'll listen and it makes mundane things like driving long distances and cleaning house bearable.
This book had potential, I really love the whole expedition + mystery + (bonus) monster/ghost premise. I was really excited to start this book! And then sorely disappointed, because it seemed like, of the 14 chapters 12 of them were intros to characters, back story and then more intro and more unnecessary back story. The promised story never takes off. After so many hours of listening I actually had to check to see where I was at and how many chapters I had to go because with so much explanation, this must be 50 hours long... but, no. It's not.
What a tease.
I barely remember the end, what stands out the most is that sad thought of, "that's it?!?!"
Ugh.... and then it ended in chapter 13. The rest of it is a lame epilogue of what happens to characters that were lame in a story that is lame.
"A lamish ghost story with only a few real chills."
A few things bothered me with this book. Firstly, the characters were stereotyped and without much character development. The storyline jumped between scenes so quickly it was hard to follow where and when things happened, and with who.
Secondly, I was let down by the ending. Unfortunately it is often the way with ghost stories...they build up the suspense, until they have you at the edge of your seat - then the air is let out of the balloon and the story flops.
Generally I was not overly convinced by this book, despite the fact that it had "real" ghosts. I also wish the narrator had taken more time to breathe out between each sentence so it wouldn't be so hard to find a place to press pause. He sounded too much in a hurry to finish it.
Despite all this, it provided me with a couple of chills down my spine so at least I didn't completely waste my credit.
This is the third F.G. Cottam audiobook I've listened to so you can call me a fan. This one has far more characters than The Waiting Room and Brodmaw Bay and I did find keeping track of some of them an effort at times. It is brilliantly read by David Rintoul. As with these other books, there's a slow build-up of tension, which is very satisfying. So, if you like Cottam's other works, you shouldn't be disappointed by this one. My one niggle is that I was very surprised when the story suddenly ended. I got to the end of the chapter x and then there was an epilogue. However, I listened to the last chapter and epilogue again and revised my opinion. On the basis of the Cottom's work's I've already listened to, I'll be visiting his back catalogue.
I loved this book. The right amount of scares and creepiness. I read the waiting room and that was excellent too.
Difficult to believe that any of them actually made it off the Island alive!
Read with the lights on.
Entertaining, well written
The fact that the story develops very quickly
Good pace, use of voice, excellent narration.
Gripping tale of mystery and suspense
I really not only enjoyed this story but also how well it was read. The narrator managed to propel you along in a well paced and sublet way. Found he engaged with my listening, creating along with the author an exciting, gripping book that I couldn't wait to get back to continue. I have been experiencing some disappointment in the choices I have made recently so I was delighted to discover this book and add it to my list of an enjoyable read.
"A great listen with some genuinely spooky moments"
Clever, thriller, spooky
All of the characters have great depth and I wanted to listen to the story to story to find out what happens to them.
The description of Laister watching the film for the first time. It was very creepy.
I bought this on a whim but thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Fun and Frivolous"
It is what it is...
It reads as if Cottam were writing specifically for a C list celebrity special at the cinema: think Anaconda or Deep Blue Sea and you'll get the idea. It is engaging enough in a titilating way during listening time and light enough to instantly forget after.
Similar to The Memory of Trees in it's stereotypically drawn characters and plot but vastly INFERIOR to the much more complex and intriguing Lazarus Prophesy. I'd highly recommend the latter.
His Scottish voices (I suspect he's actually a Scot originally) sound identical to Ken Bruce which is lovely, if slightly amusing. Is Ken masquerading as David to dodge the tax man?
Yeah, an enjoyable bit of light fiction.
Not dissimilar to what I image reading a Penny Dreadful would have been like a hundred years ago.
Extremely verbose, much too much irrelevant pontification.
Always, one of the best narrators.
Background detail, off the island, irrelevant to the mystery
"Too Slow For Me"
Slow storyline, very boring at times, narration OK though,
Unlikely to use this author again, his style obviously doesn't suit me !
"Laced through with menace."
One or two false notes e.g. Chambers' daughter's & Parr. End feels rushed/disappointing but a satisfactory read.
Yes, the story draws you in straightaway, you want to know what happened/happens next though the end doesn't do justice to the build up.
Measured narration, subtle use of different accents breathes life into the story. Not overdone.
Yes, it would make a good TV series. Too many characters feature to list actors.
"Really good book"
Just thought the plot was good along with the characters and was very atmospheric
Thought the narration was excellent
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