4 out of 4 stars
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When Dr. Nigel Leary is diagnosed with terminal cancer, things begin to go south for him. Hope comes in the form of Ida Inkettle when she waltzes into his office with her father's book on regeneration, intending to get her youthfulness back. Nigel sees the book as a likely cure for his cancer and agrees to go through its content. While the book is in Nigel's possession, his sister visits him in his home, where she enters into a coma under unnatural circumstances. Minutes after this, his little nephew, Caleb, announces that there had been a woman in the room with them (only he could see her apparently) and that she had come to get her book.
Nigel tries to return the book to Ida but finds that she has died of a heart attack. Curiosity and infatuation get the better of him after he finds some old photographs of Ida ranging from her birth to adulthood. In these pictures, there is an ageless nude woman alongside Ida. Thoughts of the naked lady take precedence, and with the help of his assistant, Marian Nicks, and Ida's caretaker, Ollie Cook, Nigel begins a quest to find answers. But nothing could have prepared them for their discoveries.
Image by Colin Turner was as exciting as it was spooky. While the central character in this book was Nigel Leary, the story was actually Caleb Mackay (Nigel's nephew) retelling pertinent events from his childhood. This story was meant to draw a connection between Caleb's ghost sightings as a child and the problem he was currently having in his marriage. Thankfully, this was clear from the book's foreword, so I had it in mind as I read the rest of the book.
I enjoyed Turner's writing. It was measured and efficient; the author's word choices made the story feel real and boosted the thrill I got from reading it. As Nigel's adventure unfolded, the plot took a few unexpected turns that kept the story interesting. This book also had the spooky element expected of any good ghost story, but it didn't make it all the way to nerve-shredding horror, which I appreciated. In terms of illustrations in the book, the author added simple pencil sketch drawings of different items before every chapter. Each item added some meaning to the chapter it accompanied. While they weren't central to the plot, I thought this was a nice touch.
There was nothing I disliked about this book. The story was intriguing, and the spookiness was used to good effect. It was also exceptionally well edited, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to lovers of novels and movies in the horror and thriller genres.
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