Cauldstane by Linda Gillard

Reviewed by Kathleen Jones

"Think Northanger Abbey meets Daphne du Maurier and Bridget Jones with a bit of Downton Abbey thrown in. It's absolutely modern and gloriously Gothic.

There's a remote and decrepit Scottish castle, (with a curse attached, of course), a wicked stepmother, a feisty but emotionally vulnerable heroine, more handsome men than you can shake a sword at, and a very dangerous ghost. . ."

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 Reviewer: Susan Price.
Category: Adult
          This is Jacobean tragedy re-imagined.
          I came to that conclusion even before the heroine studied to become an actress and played Ophelia in the most famous of revenge tragedies.  There’s an adjustment to modern taste: the body count at the end isn’t as high as the Jacobeans liked it, and the hero doesn’t wander around with his sister’s heart on a dagger – well, only metaphorically, anyway.



The Curiosity Cabinet by Catherine Czerkawska Click here to read review


Touch Me With Your Cold, Hard Fingers

by Elizabeth Stott

published by Nightjar Press

It takes skill to create a sense of unease, to permeate the everyday with the surreal, but that’s what Elizabeth Stott has done with this story, published as a chapbook this month by Nightjar Press.

Nightjar has been issuing chapbooks for a while now, curated by Nicholas Royle, the editor of the Best British Book of Short Stories 2013, pub by Salt.  A novelist himself, and a lecturer at Manchester Uni’s Creative Writing department, he has the knack of recognising a good story and a good story-teller.

This one concerns a woman who thinks she has found her soul-mate - a very private, rather secretive man who has finally given her the key to his flat - the first woman to be given that honour.  But, visiting his flat for their usual Saturday night meal together, she finds someone, or something, else in her place.

Elizabeth Stott is a skilled author of short fiction She is a scientiest as well as an author and she admits to having a dark sense of humour.   Elizabeth captures exactly the quiet horror of what begins to unfold.  The prose is almost clinical - definitely a case where less is more.


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