Tuesday, 20 September 2016

'The Brooch'

John Ward's story in Third G&S Book of Shadows is very much a tale of modern Britain, with its hapless expert on Anglo-Saxon recruited by a Russian oligarch's PA/mistress to translate an ancient manuscript. Needless to say this leads our scholar into deep waters, which is ironic as he is afraid his seaside cottage is going to fall into the sea due to coastal erosion.

The feel of the story is close to that of a modern horror movie, thanks in part to the use of CCTV footage to reveal a mysterious presence in the oligarch's luxury home. And yet it also owes a lot to the epistolary tradition of the ghost story that so many authors - MRJ included - put to such good use. It's a neat little story, not spectacularly disturbing but well-executed and interesting.

Yet again, then, a distinct change of mood compared to the previous tale, making this anthology just as varied as its predecessors. It just goes to show that when you offer good ideas to good writers, you get a lot of top-notch material.

No comments: