Jonathan Aycliffe - The Vanishment
"...a dark, spooky tale that ran shivers up and down my spine... "
Peter and Sarah's marriage has reached an impasse; their holiday in beautiful Cornwall is chosen to mend old wounds and bandage past pain. The house they go to has space - space for their writing, their painting, and their reconciliation. It has space too for its own memories and its own unforgettable horrors. but they are not to know that.
When the locals are less than friendly than they might be and when the house sighs with its secrets, the sands of their marriage shift. and then Sarah vanishes and Peter is left alone. Or is he?
I am currently filling in the gaps of books by writers I have enjoyed over the years. I can't say why it has taken me so long to get round to Aycliffe's 'The Vanishment', but it certainly was well-worth waiting for.
As always with Aycliffe, he doesn't pull his punches. Nor does he allow sentimentality for his characters to get in the way of his plot. Petherick House is a creaking Gothic pile on the Cornwall cliffs. That may be the usual trope for a ghost story, but it certainly works to full effect here to the point that the house is one of the main characters in Aycliffe's book. If you have read Aycliffe's more famous book, 'Naomi's Room' then you know that Aycliffe doesn't allow anyone to go skipping off in to the sunset. This is a dark, spooky tale that ran shivers up and down my spine – even though I was reading it in the garden on a summer's day! Read this in a day. All chores abandoned as I could not put this down. That's how good Aycliffe is. It is a shame he hasn't written anything for ages, but if you want a great gruesome ghost story, then do no more than reach for 'The Vanishment'.
Reviewed by: C.S.