Dale and Lucy are two students with a fascination in the supernatural. One weekend, they travel to Sker House, South Wales, a private residence with a macabre history which has recently been converted into a seaside inn. They plan to write an article for their university magazine about a supposed haunting, but when they arrive, they meet a landlord who seems to have a lot to hide. Soon, it becomes apparent that all is not well at Sker House. An air of oppression hangs over it, while misery, tragedy and ill-fortune are commonplace. Gradually, it becomes clear that the true depth of the mystery goes far beyond a mere historical haunting. This is a place where bad things happen, and evil lurks.
Little by little Dale and Lucy fall under Sker’s dark spell, and as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the past, they realize that nothing stays buried forever.
Welcome to Sker House, a place where past and present collide.
Do I like ghost stories…yes.
Do I like haunted houses…yes.
Do I like a little bit of actual history woven into my ghost stories…yes.
Sker House by CM Saunders has all of that, so I’ve gotta like it, right? Yes I do.
I could not put this book down. I have read other writings by Saunders so I was familiar with his writing style and knew what to expect, and this book did not disappoint.
First and foremost, Sker House is a ghost story. Taking elements of legends he’d heard in his youth (yes, Sker House is real), the author sprinkled in a wonderful tale about a couple of literary students looking to write an article for a class. Events unfold, and the couple are thrown into a situation they are not allowed to leave. From me, that’s all the spoiler you’ll get.
Dale and Lucy, the main characters, are very well-written. I liked them from the start and wanted to invest my time reading the book to see the outcome of their situation. Machen, the landlord of Sker House is a colorful character with many flaws that add to his believability. Even the secondary characters, Old Rolly, Ruth and Izzy, feel genuine. The story is written in such a way that I felt I could travel to Sker House and see these folks having a pint and tending bar.
Overall, the story was a fun (yes, ghost stories can be fun), quick read. It flowed well and didn’t have any of those ‘huh’ moments, where you’re not sure what just happened. I felt the build-up in the story was just right; it kept me reading. The one minor complaint I have is the climax. I felt there could have been a bit more. You don’t feel cheated, but you feel there was an opportunity for more goosebumps.
All in all, I highly recommend this book to the ghost story, paranormal thriller fans out there. You won’t regret giving this book a read.
4.25 of 5 Stars (Rounds to 4)