The Waiting Room

F. G. Cottam. Hodder & Stoughton (Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $12.95 trade paper (294p) ISBN 978-1-44470-423-5
Though plagued by a few narrative absurdities, Cottam's modern tale of an ex-rocker's manse and family being tormented by the ghosts of WWI is a vivid and chilling horror story. Martin Stride has happily retired from the limelight of rock stardom to a rural English estate. His children once wiled away the hours in a decrepit old railway waiting room on the edge of the property, but something has driven them away. Suspicious of the energies emanating from that "place of contagion [and] despair," Martin enlists the help of TV's most prominent spiritual medium (and secret skeptic), Julian Creed, who agrees to spend what becomes a terrifying night in the waiting room. Having serviced soldiers during the Great War, and later, inmates of an insane asylum, the building bears a powerful psychic residue, and Creed's assistant, Elena, fears that whoever—or whatever—is haunting the area intends to resuscitate hordes of dead soldiers, "‘And they'll be very strong… And their numbers will be of a magnitude we can barely imagine.'" In order to put the dead finally to rest, Creed must reassess his disbelief and confront the past before it overwhelms all of them. (June)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
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