Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

It is has a gothic spooky feel to it mixed with a wee bit of horror.

The reader follows the story of two women in the same grand house. One in the distant past and the other in the more recent past. Elsie's story starts in an insane asylum charged with quite a few murders. The doctor in charge is trying to get her to communicate, because he is convinced there must be more to the story. Why would a well situated woman suddenly go off the deep end and cause such brutal mayhem?

Before ending up in the asylum Elsie is pregnant, has just recently lost her husband and is returning to his childhood home accompanied by her husband's impoverished cousin. This isn't exactly her choice, as her decisions are being made by her much younger brother. Her brother is more concerned about the way it looks to society and any possible scandals.

Women weren't allowed to own anything per se in that era and any property, inherited or otherwise would always fall to the men. This includes husbands, brothers, fathers and cousins.

It isn't long before the women in the household start experiencing strange events. Footprints and messages in the dust, empty rooms suddenly become fully furnished clean ones, and peculiar wooden statues start appearing throughout the house.

A peaceful retreat turns into a fight for sanity and a fight to survive. Elsie finds herself drawn into the dark abyss of the past and the personal tragedies of the previous inhabitants of the house.

It's a decent premise, however the execution could have been better. The companions are an excellent idea, they give the whole story a creepy vibe, and the ending is wonderfully macabre. Purcell is creative enough to pull off a great story, this one just needs a bit of a polish.

Buy The Silent Companions at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @spookypurcell @BloomsburyRaven


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