Greyfriars Reformatory: Frazer Lee
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I’ve become a fan of Frazer Lee over the last few years through his Daniel Gates Adventures and then his release ‘Hearthstone Cottage.’ I was excited to see the announcement of ‘Greyfriars Reformatory’ and his exploration of horror set in an institutional setting.
What I liked: The book opens up immediately with our characters arriving at Greyfriars. Our M/C sizes up the other girls on the bus with her and then we get to meet the Warden, who lets us know it was nice to see Emily again.
Right off the bat, Lee decides to toss in a short sentence about Emily spotting something high above in one of the tower windows, but then moves on quickly.
One thing I enjoyed was the character relationships in here. It felt prison-like in nature, with the hierarchy of people and how things were done, but at the same time Lee let it be a bit looser. Maybe more minimum security level versus maximum works best as a description.
Lee has proven time and time again that he can write some of the creepiest scenes out there and this one didn’t let me down.
What I didn’t like: Honestly, I found it a bit jarring that we get a glimpse of the ‘Grey Girl’ almost immediately. I wished it would’ve been a bit further in, but ultimately it played out well. There is a massive info dump near the end that slowed the progress a bit, but if you push through, you’ll be rewarded.
Why you should buy this: Well, obviously, if you love institutionally set horror, you’ll dig this. There is always so much that an author can play with when they have a building with a history as the main set piece. Frazer writes buzz saw quick in spots, which make for some dark, dark passages. Awesome stuff.
Definitely another reason to check out more of his work!
Nineteen-year-old Emily’s acute dissociative disorder causes her to be institutionalised – again – at Greyfriars Reformatory For Girls.
Caught in the crossfire between brutal Principal Quick and cruel bully Saffron Chassay, Emily befriends fellow outcast Victoria.
When the terrifying apparition of the mysterious ‘Grey Girl’ begins scaring the inmates to death, Emily’s disorder may be the one thing that can save her.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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