The Isle

Narrated by: Linda Jones
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Expose the Darkest of Secrets at the Edge of the World

A deadly menace threatens a remote island community and every man, woman, and child is in peril. Sent to the isle to collect the remains of a dead fugitive, US Marshal Virgil Bone is trapped by torrential storms.

As the body count rises the community unravels, and Bone is thrust into the role of investigator. Aided by a local woman and the town pariah, he uncovers the island’s macabre past and its horrifying connection to the killings.

Some curses are best believed.

Sometimes the past is best left buried.

And some will kill to keep it so.

Praise for The Isle:

"With The Isle, John Foster makes a twenty-first century contribution to the tradition of the New England Gothic.... Fast-moving, gripping, it's a tale straight from Old Man Atlantic's barnacled treasure chest." (John Langan, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Fisherman)

"Brooding and claustrophobic, one hell of a scary ride. You won't soon forget your visit to The Isle." (Tom Deady, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Haven)

"Dripping with claustrophobic malice, crawling with dread and otherness, The Isle is a journey into places best left alone. A chilling, disturbing, compelling tale.” (Alan Baxter, award-winning author of Devouring Dark and Manifest Recall

Proudly presented by Grey Matter Press, the multiple Bram Stoker Award-nominated independent publisher.

Grey Matter Press: Where Dark Thoughts Thrive

©2018 Grey Matter Press (P)2019 Grey Matter Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written but very slow.

This is a hard book to review. My thoughts upon finishing it were that the story is beautifully written. The author clearly has talent, but I found the plot to be slow, and odd to say the least. At no stage was I invested in it, nor did I really connect with the characters, yet I still read to the end, though I don't know why!! Other than that, I don't have much to say.

I will try out other things by the author because he writes vividly but this one wasn't for me.

Linda Jones read this well. She was easy to follow and had enough tones and voices to distinguish the characters.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Read by John C. Foster!

THE ISLE is creepy Maine isolation horror that gets more and more upsetting as the story is peeled away like layers of an onion. Foster has a dark and twisted imagination that clamps onto my brain like a lobster claw! And great narration by Linda Jones, too! Recommended!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Isle review

The Isle is unforgettable. It belongs in that dark place between The Complete Collection of H.P Lovecraft and the Hard Case Crime books of Stephen King.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Creepy island with creepy people. Mmmmmm.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for a fair review.

The premise of this book sucked me in from the beginning. A murder happens on an isolated island with some quirky, creepy people that just ooze uneasiness. When the investigator gets to the island, he finds some strange people who obviously do not want him there. Something is not right with the island and you're just not sure what it is. Is there something supernatural going on? Are the people just crazy? Is this some weird religious doomsday cult? What could it be? Linda Jones does an excellent job with the narration and communicating the tension of the story. The story itself was a little clunky and disjoined at the beginning, but it got better as it went along. About halfway through the book, the story really picked up and got exciting. It really became a fascinating story. I'll be checking out other books by this author and narrator. Check it out.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Creepy and Dark and Atmospheric

This is a creepy, dark, and atmospheric story with claustrophobic moments and small town mob mentality and murder. And all of those things are great and the author writes really fantastically. But I saw this compared with a gothic novel in the past and like many of those I found myself wishing there was more stuff that happened. It's really good at what it does, but it's not what I expected from it.

Narration was great and brought a little more energy to it.

I received the code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Imagine if the Wicker Man & Shutter island had a baby

Take the reclusive village and all of its secret sacred rights from the Wicker Man and merge it with the constant flash backs and twisted personal history from shutter island and you will have an idea of what you are in for. The constant flashbacks is the reason for a 4 from me. It seemed like too many and broke the story flow up for me in a somewhat discordant manner. That being said the overall of the story and narration are a truly spine tingling combo. Push through the flashbacks and enjoy the story like you were at a lobster buffet. Put on your bib, settle in and get ready to get a delicious, gory, meaty, mess. An outside federal agent with a tormented past must retrieve a body from a secluded insular island community. Sounds easy but if it was so easy the book would be over after the first chapter or two. Enjoy where it takes you. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Beautiful telling of a mediocre story

I have to say I had a hard time getting through this book. It started out great but as it went on, the story line just seemed to get a little muddy. There was the story of Bones and then the story of the town’s people, which intersected from time to time. While interesting, the town had a lot of different characters who had separate stories that seemed to distract from the overall plot. The only one I actually cared about was Bone, and even then his story wasn’t all that exciting.

The development of the town and its people was great, but new characters continued to enter the story and I had a hard time keeping track of everyone. I felt like everyone in the town was a drunk and I actually want to hang with them in the pub while drinking beers and eating fish and chips. The setting and atmosphere that was created for this story was the part I enjoyed the most. Since the town is isolated, it has the feel of a close-knit colonial town where everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret. This prehistoric New England island definitely felt confining and trapped you in with all its residents who all seem to be up to something.

Along with the world that Foster created, I really enjoyed his writing itself. He has a great way with words and the detail he provided for everything really brings you to the isle itself. His words are almost like poetry and he does a fantastic job of putting you right in the story smelling the salty air. I just felt that there was too much being crammed into a story that could have been told in a less convoluted way. It easily could have been a five star story all around if the story didn’t get in the way of itself.

Linda Jones did a great job. I really enjoyed her narration and absolutely loved her character voices. I felt like she really added to the overall story with her inflection and you can hear her excitement in her tone. She is definitely a narrator I would like to hear more from.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to The Isle, Prepare to be Terrified

Tell me that's not an interesting cover. It's partly what drew me to the book when it was offered. The other part was creepy fishing island and a mystery afoot. Of course I'll be interested. And for the most part, I wasn't disappointed.

The narration by Linda Jones was pretty good. It had a quiet and subdued tone that fit very well with the moodiness of the story. If I had one complaint about the narration of The Isle it would be that it was sometimes hard to differentiate between speakers occasionally.

The writing stye is very description heavy. I think, in general, that I would probably like it more as a book rather than an audiobook. The narrative could get a bit thick at times and I would have to rewind a few times to relisten to a certain passage. I don't mind description heavy writing but it's something that I would rather read as opposed to listening to it.

I really liked the plot but I can't say that I was very attached to the characters. The writing style kept them at an arm's length. This could be a product of listening but I don't think so. They all seemed aloof and a bit off-putting at times. That did fit with the story but also kept me from really rooting for any one character. I did like the character of Bone (even if they did use one of the most tired tropes as backstory and the angsty, guilt-ridden, alcoholic detective is pretty overused, as well). One of the things that put me off a bit was the "Burn the witch!" theme in parts. As in, some characters were quite literally chanting this. It's just kind of hokey and made me roll my eyes a little.

I can't say that it was a very quick listen. It would periodically get bogged down before it would get going again. I'm also thankful that Lilyn did give me a heads up on the manner of child death because when I got to the part I could skim forward a little. They didn't seem too graphic but the manner is something that really bothers me so it was nice to have a little warning.

I would recommend it if you're looking for a good, gothic slow-burner ala Ghost Story by Peter Straub. It certainly feels wet, stormy and claustrophobic. The author certainly does have a way of setting the scene and describing. A lot of the imagery was downright chilling. As personal tastes go, I'd recommend reading over listening but that's just me. Other people might enjoy listening more.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Well Written & Boring

It's clear to me that John C. Foster is an excellent writer, but this book is not very compelling. I found myself going in and out while listening to it and even while trying very hard to stay focused, I was just not interested. I can't recommend this book to anyone! Linda Jones did a fine job, however.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Looking to checking out this author again.

*I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook of this and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It was pretty good in parts and a wee flat in others. It wasn’t bad, but think it could have been better. The narration was a little uneven as well and took me a few chapters to get it to settle in, but once it did, I was much more comfortable the rest of the way.

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  • Thomas Joyce
  • 01-01-20

Gripping and immersive. Perfect gothic horror.

The idea of an isolated island community existing in our modern world, inhabited by people ruled by traditional religious beliefs is a little hard to take at first. A small population who all seem to know each other, and who all turn their back on modern technology in favour of the "old ways".But, thanks to the power of Foster's storytelling, The Isle comes to life in the mind of the reader. From the rolling ocean waves to the eerie burned out buildings of the waterfront village, from the cottages with their thatched roofs to the mysterious lighthouse and it's equally mysterious inhabitant, every setting and every character adds to the all-encompassing sense of dread. Seeing the world through the eyes of US Marshal Virgil Bone - himself a troubled character - allows us to become immersed in the role of an outsider on the island. This is further enhanced by a wonderful narration by Linda Jones, who gives each character their own voices.

The mystery surrounding Bone's mission to the island, and the murky history of the inhabitants, is played out wonderfully. Foster never gives the reader too much information at once, instead eking it out in such a way that keeps us hooked right to the horrifying climax. It is a perfect gothic horror story for those readers (or audiobook listeners) who not only want to read and listen, but want to be engulfed by the darkness. Certain aspects reminded me of the movie The Wicker Man, which I did enjoy. But I found the experience of reading and listening to The Isle even more enjoyable.