ISABEL'S SKIN by PETER BENSON.
SOURCE: Received for review from Alma Books. The publication date of this paperback edition according to the press release is 26th of September 2013.
David Morris lives the quiet life of a book-valuer for a London auction house, travelling every day by omnibus to his office in the Strand. When he is asked to make a trip to rural Somerset to value the library of the recently deceased Lord Buff-Orpington, the sense of trepidation he feels as he heads into the country is confirmed the moment he reaches his destination, the dark and impoverished village of Ashbrittle. These feelings turn to dread when he meets the enigmatic Professor Richard Hunt and catches a glimpse of a screaming woman he keeps prisoner in his house.
...... Press Release/Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): I wrote this story in a wooden house at the bottom of a thin garden.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 113): Her face looked out from under the cowl like something from the very worst dream, a dream a madman might have in the desperate last minutes of night, before the dawn comes and breaks the spell and chases all madness away.
MY THOUGHTS: Left bemused and slightly dumbfounded by this novel, it really is quite different from anything else I've ever read.
What I'd describe as an old fashioned ghost story without actually being a ghost story at all. Nothing too scary, just good old fashioned storytelling with a twist of the macabre about it.
Incredibly eerie with an extraordinary atmosphere of the spine tingling variety. I had worried that Isabel's skin could be in danger of verging on the territory of the 'freak show' but thankfully, saved by the touching romance woven throughout, I need not have worried.
The first book I've read by this author, I'm sure it won't be the last.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, ALMA BOOKS, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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