Highland Cove by Dylan J. Morgan
Five friends with ambitions to become documentarians travel from London to an abandoned asylum on a Scottish island. The doctor who ran the asylum died sixty years prior and the hospital was closed and is rumored to be haunted.
The author is excellent at evoking atmosphere. The descriptions—first of the pub where the friends met the man who was taking them to the island—then of the island itself—and, finally, the inside of the asylum. The descriptions were creepy and very well done. Dark clouds hanging over the island and the storm complete with lightning added to the exquisite sense of anticipation of meeting some supernatural beings in the corridors or hospital rooms in the abandoned building. Peeling paint, dead leaves and icy wind whirling through the scenes were particularly evocative.
This reader enjoyed the suspense of the book for most of the novel. Figuring out an essential plot point early on was interesting and upped the anticipation of what was ahead.
What was unexpected was the shock of what happened later in the story, and without any spoilers, it’s hard to say what that was, but it was almost too much for this reader. I confess, I glossed over some of that, swiping my e-reader pages faster until the tale moved past that part. I imagine many readers of this genre would revel in that section, but not this one. It didn’t ruin the story for me, but it was disturbing.
The flashes back to the past added to the overall creepiness of the novel. The author is definitely gifted with a talent for descriptiveness. I could see all the places in the story and some made my skin crawl.
If you’re a fan of horror, you shouldn’t pass on this one. The ending was particularly disturbing. Just don’t read before bed or you might wake up at 2 a.m, like I did thinking I heard someone calling my name…..