These days the good old fashioned ghost story seems a bit overlooked, so it’s always nice to find new examples, especially by well-thought of authors.
And The Shadows Call is a great example of the genre. Penned by Matt Hilton, who’s better known for his Lee-Child-style thrillers but who loves a good paranormal yarn, it’s an intriguing story about an ordinary bloke moving into an apparently haunted house and watching the weirdness grow.
There’s a face in the stained glass window at the top of the stairs. Automatic writing appears on the walls. Strange shadows chase each other through the house. And what lurks in the walled-off basement is anyone’s guess.
However, this is very, very far from your standard haunted house tale. Mid-way through, things take a sudden turn for the worse and the reader’s expectations have to perform a sharp U-turn. It’s clever, it’s unexpected, and it’s much more original than the usual ‘forgotten burial ground’ or ‘jilted bride’ scenarios.
If I had a minor grizzle it’s that occasionally things were explained in a little too much detail. But this is a cracking, and surprisingly scary, book, with mounting tension and enough paranormal activity to shake an electro-magnetic reader at. I loved it, and will definitely be seeking out more of Matt’s creepier tales.
If you’re tempted too, you can find The Shadows Call on Amazon… Just don’t read it late at night with the lights down low!