6 Sep 2016

THE MAGDALENA CURSE.

THE MAGDALENA CURSE BY F.G. COTTAM.

BACK COVER BLURB: Adam Hunter is a child possessed.

It only takes a couple of visits to convince Dr Elizabeth Bancroft that Adam Hunter is not just having bad dreams. He's a child possessed.

His father is desperate. He is convinced he incurred a curse when a military operation in the Amazon went horribly, terrifyingly wrong. There he met two women - one who placed the curse and the other who just might be able to save Adam.

Mark Hunter leaves the Scotland to beg help from the mysterious woman, leaving his son in the care of the local doctor, Elizabeth Bancroft.

But Elizabeth is about to discover there are equally dark secrets on her own doorstep.

And in her blood..

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: In his bedroom on the floor above, she heard the boy shift in his sleep and murmur or sigh to himself.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 61}: 'What happened to us?' he said to Peterson, when Peterson proffered a mug of coffee from the pot he'd just brewed.

'I don't know,' Peterson said, on the ground, on his haunches, staring at nothing. He was like that for so long that Hunter thought he would offer nothing more. Then he said, 'Hypnotic suggestion might have been a part of it.

Hunter glanced briefly towards the little tent. 'What hypnotist possesses the power to make you consume your own hands?'


SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

MY THOUGHTS: A total 'scaredy cat' when it comes to 'horror novels'. I very nearly didn't get beyond chapter one as I found it so scary but I'm so glad I did for though eerie in places, I ultimately found The Magdalena Curse to be more chilling, more of a tale of the supernatural, than what I personally think of as a 'horror' story.

Only a star away from a 'It Was Amazing'/ 'I Loved It' rating, there was only one or two (possibly three) slight niggles that did ever so slightly mar my enjoyment.

A bit like in English pantomime when the 'baddie' appears and the audience shouts 'he's behind you' so every time Mrs Hall was featured it was with the words 'far more good than bad'. Oddly humorous to begin with but after a while the 'joke' wore thin and became annoying, those few words detracting from what was otherwise an unearthly character.

Then there were the use of italics which were not only incredibly small but typed in a very light print. Perhaps something integral to the story, perhaps, and I feel this is more likely the case, not. Its just frustrating that I may have missed out on something vital.

Then, and I'm still debating with myself whether this was a good thing or a bad thing, there was the fact that we never really got to know just what either Mrs Hall 'far more good than bad' or indeed Mrs Mallory were. Perhaps merely old women skilled in the art of hypnotism? Maybes gypsies well versed in the art of curses? Vampires, Witches?

Anyway, 

A book I can clearly imagine being read around the campfire. Incredibly atmospheric - whatever Mrs Hall/Mallory were or were not - the way in which the Hunter's story tied in with Elizabeth's very clever. The somehow old fashioned feel despite the very modern setting only adding to the chill factor.


10 comments:

Kelly said...

This sounds like one that would be perfect for the R.I.P. Challenge. I enjoy books like this in very small doses, but prefer the horror to be real rather than supernatural. Despite your positive review, I'm not sure this is one for me.

Barbara Fisher said...

You are not the only scary cat Tracy. I don’t usually read horror stories, but this one interests me. You’ve made it sound intriguing, which always catches my attention. Thanks for a brilliant review.

Sherry Ellis said...

"Consume your own hands"? Yuck! That is way too creepy for me!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

This is definitely a story which you are either going to love or hate - no middle ground here - which is reflected in the ratings and reviews, none of which seem to take the middle of the road option.

I used to read a lot of this genre, when I was much younger, but have to admit that I have veered towards a good psychological thriller more and more just recently, with the exception of one or two excellent authors I have found, who have struck the right story balance for me.

I'm not sure that this storyline really enagages me enough and your own comments, whilst well thought through, haven't really swayed me towards adding it to my list.

Thanks for sharing :)

Yvonne

Suko said...

Excellent review (what else is new?)! I'm glad you enjoyed this as more of a supernatural tale rather than a horror story. I am a bit of 'scaredy cat' as well, especially if the lights are low and I am home alone at night. This book sounds scary, but not too scary, perhaps. Have a terrific week, Tracy!

Natasha Hill said...

This sounds great, and I a big fan of novels that use the horror narrative and add a chilling element, so I will definitely be having to get a copy of this to read myself. Thanks for the review Tracy! - Tasha

Brian Joseph said...

Great review Tracy.


I tend to like atmospheric books and psychological horror so this sounds good to me.

Based on your commentary seems like some of the characters could have been better developed.


I hope to read a few supernatural or horror books this season.

Melliane said...

It's nice to have an atmosphere like that. it sounds like a good story. I'm intriged

Literary Feline said...

Atmospheric is good. I am glad you enjoyed this one, even despite the minor flaws you found.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds interesting but also frustrating. I can see this really working in the right atmosphere however. Brilly review!