Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.
The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.
But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.
After reading several books by this author, I became a confirmed fan. But then he disappeared for a while. When I learned he had a new release on the horizon, it took me about tenth of a second to request an ARC.
A group of ghosthunters, including some non-believers, spend two nights in an abandoned sanitorium during a vicious storm. Where lots of people died. And it’s on an island. What could go wrong here? Most folks, believers or not, would likely pass on the offer. Luckily for the reader, these characters think it’s an amazing opportunity. Some of them assume nothing will happen and figure they’ll edit in effects to the film later. Right. But then, it wouldn’t be much of a horror story if characters made wise choices.
This author possesses an incredible talent for setting a tone – something he immediately did when the group first set foot on the island. With such vivid imagery, I felt as if I walked the dilapidated halls of Highland Cove along with these characters. Chills tingled down my spine when a wheelchair moved of its own accord. Shadows danced in every corner. During one scene, I cringed repeatedly – and I’ve been reading horror for decades. That doesn’t happen to me very often, so kudos to the author. Trust me when I say parts of this aren’t for the faint of heart.
It’s difficult to mention this without giving away spoilers, but a couple things near the end didn’t come together for me. I had suspicions, and maybe I missed a crucial piece of information early in the book, but I felt part of the puzzle was missing when all was said and done. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this atmospheric tale, but still – some questions niggled at my brain.
I’m thrilled to see another book from this author and hope I don’t have to wait as long for his next one. If you’re a horror fan, this is a writer you need to get to know.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.