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Book Reviews: Quiet Houses + Terminal Island

Quiet Houses by Simon Kurt Unsworth

This is a good portmanteau horror novel about haunted houses. Nakata is a paranormal researcher investigating strange events. The houses are quiet, it is the residents who are screaming.

The Elms, Morecambe
Nakata learns of a man’s encounter with a ghost in a hotel. A seemingly innocuous encounter that has destroyed his life. Okay.

The Merry House, Scale Hall
A young father encountered a Lovecraftian horror in an abandoned house. Average.

Beyond St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham Head
Nakata visits a cliff top graveyard and is chased by disembodied footprints. Good and creepy.

The Ocean Grand, North West Coast
Three art restorers work in an abandoned hotel and encounter malevolent artwork. Good.

The Temple of Relief and Ease
An underground Victorian convience is the subject of Nakata’s latest inquiry and he is almost overwhelmed by 43 years of repressed rage. Okay.

43 Glasshouse, Glasshouse Estate
On a ghost estate show house, Nakta and his colleagues try to create a ghost and pay a steep price. Good.

Stack’s Farm, Trough of Bowland
Nakta and others visit a deserted farm and encounter something terrible. Good.

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Terminal Island by Walter Greatshell

From the author of the dire ‘Xombies: Apocalypse Blues’ comes this equally dire tale of Henry Cadmus who returns to Catalina Island in search of his estranged mother. Flashbacks show Catalina was an unsettling place for the bratty young Henry. Now Henry has grown into a jerk adult, he has a flake wife and a brat daughter.

Henry stumbles around Catalina learning it is part of ancient religious cult. This is a load of badly written crap populated by idiots. Don’t even get me started on the idiot twist ending.

Best Lines:
“Who’s trying to kill you now.”

“Now graduated to murderous cultist and seller of non-existent condos to the soon-to-be slaughtered leisure set.”
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