Hearthstone Cottage

Frazer Lee. Flame Tree, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-78758-327-6
A retreat in the Scottish Highlands turns into a nightmare in this hair-raising, but frustratingly anticlimactic horror-fantasy novel from Lee (The Lucifer Glass). Mike, Helen, Alex, and Kay are on their way to a lakeside cottage for a post-grad vacation when they run over a stag and kill it. Fleeing the scene, they arrive at the cottage only to find it occupied by Alex’s strange younger sister, Meggie. As they settle in, Mike begins to have hallucinations of childlike laughter, disturbing repressed memories, and the dead body of the stag they killed bleeding out on the cabin floor. Things grow stranger as Mike’s night terrors cause him to sleepwalk. He becomes violent in his sleep and sexually assaults Kay while sleeping. The subsequent falling-out leaves Mike alone in the cottage with Meggie, and Mike makes a discovery that horrendously upends his life. Though the story is built from familiar horror tropes, Lee manages to sustain the suspense until the novel reaches its crisis point—but a tepid reveal dissipates the tension. The disappointing ending will leave horror-fantasy readers unsatisfied. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/10/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-78758-325-2
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