In a radical departure from his previous works, K. C. Parton has turned his prodigious imagination to the unsettling genre of the world that is sometimes glimpsed but never understood: the supernatural. This thrilling new collection of ghost stories explores the traditions of Edwardian horror placed in a contemporary setting. With compelling reads including, ‘The Last Train’ and the evocative ‘Ghost of Spetchley Bridge’, K. C. Parton portrays how people react when forces move beyond their control. Diverse locations and memorable characters are used in every story to maximise the disturbing effect. Old factories, the South Downs and Southend-on-Sea provide a vivid backdrop for these spine-chilling tales. With unearthly movements, strange noises and mysterious disappearances K. C. Parton creates an eerie atmosphere. Whether it is the creeping discomfort of a man being forced to challenge his understanding of the world, or an eerie appearance at the local cricket club, he transports the reader to the supernatural world.
Ten Short Tales about Ghosts is a haunting read that will interest fans of gothic literature at any age. Characteristics of both Edwardian and Victorian ghost stories are present in this collection. Residents of the county areas mentioned in the stories may also be interested to explore the paranormal potential at their local landmarks. K. C. Parton has been inspired by the writing style of Susan Hill. His admiration for M. R. James encouraged him to develop his many characters of the collection. These spooky short stories, inspired by the genius of M. R. James, explore extraordinary things happen to ordinary people. Local stories of ghost sightings and strange hauntings also enabled K. C. Parton to find amicable settings for his characters to develop in. – Goodreads.com
The cover of this book is fabulous – eerie, creepy, ghoulish – everything a book about ghosts should be. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the tales inside to be quite up to par with the cover.
The stories didn’t seem very original to me and were very similar to others I’ve read in the past, so nothing really ‘grabbed’ me. Admittedly, I’ve been reading ghost stories for many years, so I may be immune to the creep factor by now.
The style of this book had more of a gothic feel, but too much time was spent on the everyday lives of the characters (procedures in a factory, details about a new job) instead of plot development. The stories seemed to be more about people going about their lives, up pops a ghost, story over. I missed that slow build of tension when you feel like something ominous is just around the corner.
If you’re a fan of more ‘gentle’ ghost stories and are looking for a light shiver, this may be the book for you, but if you prefer to go heavier on the supernatural aspects, you may want to skip this one.
This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.