Category Archives: Paranormal

Book Review: The Cold, Black Sea by Campbell Hart

There’s something rotten at the heart of the Balfour family. These three stories highlight the darker side of a shared history, told through the voices of different generations.

The Sniper: as the bloodiest battle of WW1 rages all around them, three friends find themselves facing a phantom sniper deep in no-man’s land. Set against the horror of the Somme one thing is certain: you never see the shots, and the marksman never misses.

The Rocking Stone: the vengeful spirit of the Lady of Threepwood stalks Cuff Hill, bringing death to those who catch her eye. When a black metal box is unearthed in an ancient grave, a young girl’s life is transformed. Only the Rocking Stone holds the answers, with the truth found in the ancient fire cast out from the otherworld.

The Cold, Black Sea: A dying woman returns home for the final time, but with her judgement clouded by visions of the past and present, nothing is quite as it seems. As she tries to lay her demons to rest she’s dogged by a journalist determined to uncover a terrible secret.

There’s no escape from the cold, black sea.

The Cold, Black Sea is the latest release from Scottish noir author Campbell Hart. It comprises a trio of ghost stories, all linked by their connection to one family through a number of generations. I had previously read The Sniper and The Rocking Stone when they were published individually, and it was very satisfying to see them brought together with The Cold, Black Sea, a story which packs a considerable punch in rounding off the tragic tales of the Balfours.

The Sniper is a strikingly original ghost story, set on the battlefields of the Somme during the First World War. It is a disorientating read, told from the perspectives of three different young men from Glasgow as they grapple with ghostly sightings on the western front. Hart deploys fragmented, multiple first person narratives to great effect, drawing the reader into a gruesome hellscape in which it is often unclear what is real and what is imagined. Herein lies the story’s magic, and when the mist clears at the conclusion, the sense of futility and tragedy is palpable.

If The Sniper draws upon the horrors of relatively recent history, The Rocking Stone reaches out to the magic of the ancient past. It is a story of spells and curses, of old druid legends and the price paid by those who get caught up in them. Using multiple first person points of view, Hart weaves a richly descriptive and creepy tale with an unexpected twist. The protagonists are members of the Balfour family, and are relatives of one of the young soldiers in the first story. By the end of this second story, there is a growing sense that this particular family is cursed.

The concluding story, The Cold, Black Sea, is a masterful piece of noir storytelling. Haunted by the past, a present day Balfour seeks to lay ghosts to rest while confronting her own impending demise. Again Hart deploys a fragmented, multi-perspective narrative to great effect, leaving the reader with a nagging sense that something isn’t quite right. And, of course, it isn’t: the fates of the previous generations hang heavy over the protagonist, but so do her own secrets. When all is revealed at the conclusion it is breathtakingly dark, and for fans of this genre, enormously satisfying.

A highly recommended collection, perfect for Halloween. Five Stars. Get your copy here.

***I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

New Release: The House at Kirtlebeck End

I’m really happy to announce that my new novel, The House at Kirtlebeck End, has been released!

The House at Kirtlebeck End is a paranormal suspense novel set in Scotland in the 1970s and the present day.

Let the dead speak

Two troubled women. Two different decades. Two unsolved disappearances. Will the house that witnessed it all ever give up its secrets?

In 1972 artist Eleanor Murray starts afresh in Kirtlebeck with her husband, Bert, and daughter, Anna. Still reeling from Bert’s recent infidelity, Eleanor’s hopes of happiness in their rural idyll are swiftly consumed by depression and despair. Then, just months after their arrival in the village, Bert goes missing.

In 2018 Eleanor’s estranged granddaughter, Harry James, arrives in Kirtlebeck after inheriting the Murray family home. Desperate to put her chequered past behind her, Harry is determined to learn about the family she never knew and to discover what happened to her mother, Anna, who vanished without a trace years ago.

As the story moves between the decades, secrets are unearthed and the dead begin to speak. Alone in the big old house, Harry learns that nothing is quite as it seems, and that behind a family history filled with strange disappearances lurks an otherworldly tale of darkness, obsession, and vengeance.

Available at: Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Kobo

The Big Blurb Reveal!

Today I’m delighted to reveal the blurb for my forthcoming novel, The House at Kirtlebeck End:

I hope it has you intrigued! The House at Kirtlebeck End is a paranormal mystery/suspense novel, and will be available in ebook and paperback format on 2nd December 2019.

To celebrate the imminent release of my next book, my first contemporary novel Ethersay is currently 99p / 99c on Amazon Kindle. If you haven’t read Ethersay, you can check out the book’s description and promotional trailer here, and you can click here to pick up your copy.

Cover Reveal: The House at Kirtlebeck End

Today I am so pleased to reveal the cover for my forthcoming novel, The House at Kirtlebeck End.

Choosing a cover for this book wasn’t a straightforward process (it never is), with lots of deliberating and procrastinating and difficult choices between lots of wonderful designs. However, I decided that the cover for this book needed to show the reader exactly what it is – a paranormal mystery/suspense novel – and I feel this cover does that perfectly! I’d love to know what you think, so please comment below.

With just a month now to go until the release date of 2nd December, I will shortly be publishing the book’s blurb and details of the e-launch event, so keep an eye out here for updates.

Release Date: The House at Kirtlebeck End

Good evening and a happy Halloween to you all!

Today I’m pleased to announce that my next novel, The House at Kirtlebeck End, has a release date! The book is scheduled for release in ebook and paperback format on 2nd December 2019.

The House at Kirtlebeck End is a paranormal mystery/suspense novel, set in a small fictional village in southern Scotland. The book also has a touch of inter-generational family saga to it, as it moves between the 1970s and present day to reveal one family’s otherworldly tale. This book is the culmination of almost two years of work from original concept through to finished product, and I’m really excited to share it with you soon.

Over the next week or so I will reveal the book’s cover and also publish the blurb on this site. In the meantime, if you’re on Goodreads please head over to the book’s Goodreads page and add it to your ‘to be read’ list.