The Gordon Place – Isaac Thorne
Reviewed By Steve Stred
The Gordon Place is my first go around with Mr. Thorne’s work, although I’ll admit I’ve had his collection Road Kills on my radar for some time.
The synopsis/premise of The Gordon Place, is itself intriguing. The small town of Lost Hollow has one constable, Graham Gordon. Graham returns to his abandoned childhood home. The house itself holds horrible memories from his youth, and he’d vowed to never return. But now duty calls and he must.
Meanwhile a newscaster whose father was a victim of a horrible hate-crime returns to Lost Hollow in the hopes of uncovering a solid ghost story to run. Something that’ll bump her ratings but also, hopefully in the off chance it happens, answer some questions she’s always wished answered.
It doesn’t take long before the constable and the newscaster’s paths cross and they discover their pasts are intertwined in ways they’d never imagined.
Thorne does some magnificent character building in this story. He starts off with a foreword letting us know that there’s some very unsettling content within, and the truth of the matter – there is. But set in the context of the story, the time line/years of occurrences and the nature behind why it’s all included make perfect sense and I never once felt uncomfortable in the sense that it was excessive. Don’t get me wrong, the story line that goes with it is highly uncomfortable, but it has a purpose and for that Thorne deserves some tremendous props.
The ghost story included is fascinating, even while only making me feel creeped out a few times. The ‘creature’ within that rear’s its head a few times was unsettling, but overall this read more like a well-paced drama then a gore filled haunted house tale and it worked really well.
Thorne has some serious writing chops and every time I jumped back into The Gordon Place, I was easily whisked away to Lost Hollow. This was a hard one to review based on the fact that it’s tough to go too far into what the story holds without giving away major spoilers! That says a ton about the depth included within the pages.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4*
The Gordon Place
Lost Hollow constable Graham Gordon just walked into his abandoned childhood home for the first time in twenty years. Local teenagers have been spreading rumors about disembodied screams coming from inside. Now, thanks to a rickety set of cellar stairs and the hateful spirit of his dead father, he might never escape.
Meanwhile, Channel 6 News feature reporter Afia Afton—whose father is the victim of a local decades-old hate crime—is meeting with town administrator Patsy Blankenship. Her mission is to develop a ghost story feature for a special to air on the station’s Halloween broadcast. When Patsy tells her about the screams at the Gordon place, the past and the present are set on a collision course with potentially catastrophic results.
Can Graham come to terms with his father’s past and redeem his own future? Can the murder mystery that has haunted Afia for most of her life finally be solved?
It’s a fight for the future and the past when spirit and flesh wage war at the Gordon place.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas 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.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
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
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.