Thursday, 18 June 2015

Darkest Past - Haunting Tales by Benedict Ashforth

Started: 11th June
Finished: 13th June

Another book by the same author, even though I didn't like the previous offering? I know, I know. The thing is, before I'd started reading Abbot's Keep, I had a look at some of the other books by the same author, and thought this one sounded interesting, so I actually purchased it (for 99p).

Luckily, this turned out to be a much better choice. It's actually a book of five short stories; although the title says 'Haunting Tales', they weren't really what I'd call haunting, or scary, in that sense. However, they all had just enough creepiness and weirdness about them - although I don't remember the series very well, I would maybe compare them to the kind of stories in Tales Of The Unexpected.

The five stories are:

Passing Affliction - an account from a foster carer about a young girl who appears to have special powers

The Westhoff Version - The Westhoff's are a couple living in a remote area in the South of France, who introduce their 'version' of foie gras to a family holidaying in a rented farmhouse nearby

The Other One - a ghostly apparition appears to a family who have just moved into a large house in a quiet village

The Setting Sea - an art dealer finds a priceless painting, but part of it seems to be unfinished. Can he complete it?

Alderway - a 'selling your soul to the devil' type of tale

Interestingly, all apart from The Westhoff Version are written in the style of letters, or accounts, of the events that happened. This author clearly likes the letter-writing format! As these were only short stories though, it worked a lot better than it did in Abbot's Keep.

At only 134 pages, it only took me a couple of evenings to read, but they were decent short stories, and made up for the disappointment of the previous book.

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