The Horror At Lavender Edge: Christopher Henderson
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I discovered Henderson last year when I read his sci-fi/horror release ‘Artemis One-Zero-Five.’ I loved the mash-up that he presented and loved the ideas that moved the story along.
KR: You can read the Artemis One-Zero Five Kendall Review HERE
Now, Henderson returns, but instead of tackling future horror again, he’s now bringing us a classic haunted house tale set back in the ’70s.
I think the time period for this one is key. Growing up, I remember reading The Weekly World News and at the time, occasionally seeing some ghost shows on TV, but for the most part, paranormal related activities or past times were a fringe thing – people didn’t discuss it much out of fear of ridicule. Now as time progresses, some of society has embraced this ‘other’ world.
What really makes this tick is the idea that back then, a group of ghost hunters would set up some cameras (often polaroids) and use handheld tape recorders to try and capture phenomena.
It is with that in mind that we arrive at Lavender Edge. A house with a history, known to many.
We get thrust in quickly to the action, Police Woman Jo has stumbled on a lady dealing with substantial grief. Something else is going on at her residence and Jo wants to get to the bottom of it. She contacts a group of ghost hunters, who at first are standoffish towards her, before agreeing to investigate.
This story had some super creepy parts. Moments where I felt like stopping and going to another of my on-the-go books, but I pushed through. Haunted house stories always get to me, always make me question the noises I hear outside of the bedroom while reading. What was that that just brushed my foot? Henderson does it with the best of them.
I did struggle with some of the dialogue, specifically at the start with Jo. It ground on me that she appeared a bit unhinged when she was also a highly professional police officer. I also never once connected with the character Undine. I see now that the book is labelled Undine and Cross #1, so I’m presuming we may learn more about the backstory and what Undine exactly is, but as a single read, the character was oftentimes confusing and disruptive. I wished often that less of him would be included.
Other than that, this was a really fun ghost story. Another great haunted house tale that is sure to creep out a lot of readers and make us look differently at wallpaper for sure.
KR: You can read an interview between Kendall Reviews and Christopher Henderson HERE
The Horror At Lavender Edge
A psychic who dreams of a different life.
A police constable who just wants to protect an old lady.
A haunted house that could destroy them all.
London, October 1971:
Some people think psychics are cool, but paranormal investigator Harry Undine disagrees. The Rat Pack were cool. They still are, despite what this new generation thinks. But having his emotions ripped to shreds whenever he encounters a so-called ghost is definitely not cool, thank you very much, and his work at the Corsi Institute had better help him get rid of his unwanted ‘gift’.
When WPC Jo Cross visits the Institute and begs them to help an elderly lady whose house in Mitcham appears to be haunted, of course they have to assist her, even if everything in Undine screams that they should stay as far away as possible. He can’t tell their boss why he’s so frightened, not without revealing his secret. And Jo Cross is a good woman, just doing her job. But are her determination, all the Institute’s expertise, and Undine’s own abilities going to be enough when they face the horror at Lavender Edge?
There’s only one way to find out – and they are going to find out, whether Undine wants it or not.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here