Saturday, 25 December 2021

'The Clearance' by Paul M. Feeney

The penultimate story in Terror Tales of the Scottish Lowlands is set in the countryside north of |Glasgow. A man with a special talent goes to meet the local laird, who is having some supernatural problems. It turns out that the main character has a special power - he can not only see ghosts but assists them in 'moving on'. This talent is nicely handled by way of flashbacks, before the nitty-gritty issue of the haunting is tackled. 

I like a story that could go in a number of ways and still surprises you. This one (no spoilers) does not follow the conventional route of ghost seer or exorcist, but there is a definite sense of closure. The only other living character, Lumley, is a well-drawn example of an all-too-familiar British type, one of whom is currently ensconced in Downing Street. This is a solid horror tale, modern but with a definite tinge of Gothic.

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