I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell
Published by Flame Tree Press on March 12, 2020
Genres: Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
"An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that" - Guillermo del Toro
Patrick Torrington's aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the occult. While staying with her in his teens he found evidence that she used to visit magical sites. As an adult he discovers her journal of her explorations, and his teenage son Roy becomes fascinated too. His experiences at the sites scare Patrick away from them, but Roy carries on the search, together with his new girlfriend. Can Patrick convince his son that his increasingly terrible suspicions are real, or will what they've helped to rouse take a new hold on the world?
FLAME TREE PRESSis the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
The Wise Friend is a lesson in the age-old conundrum- should you believe everything you read? How much do you know the people posing as your friends? Are there ulterior motives? The storyline chills your spine with liquid nitrogen. It makes you stiffen up, look over your shoulder and take stock all at the same time. its haunting and disturbing with its threatening edge that has you wandering down an unused path that can only lead to devastation. It is an exquisite piece of literature with its use of macabre to transport the reader to another world, one with twists and an undeniable edge that just talked to you instantly.
The synopsis was an eerie whisper that called to me. It was a voice that I couldn’t distinguish from the breeze, but I knew it was there all the same. It was mysterious but what exactly had me so drawn to it? Plain and simple it was its originality that had me so excited. It had me curious and scrambling to open it that had me firm in my conviction. This is was no regurgitated horror novel, The Wise Friend was fresh and invigorating and it seemed to pulse with electricity in my hand.
Thelma Torrington met an untimely end, at her own hands. She was surrealist painter and by all means at the top of her game. Her nephew, Patrick Semple spent a lot of time in his teenage years with his aunt and uncle. The narrative used during this time in Patricks life is extremely harrowing and you get a real insight into Ramsey Campbell’s imagination. You are transported to the woods Patrick used to walk with his aunt Thelma. You can feel the claustrophobic nature of the trees closing in, the dangerous nature that just seems to be a breath away. It swallows you up and leaves you aching for safety once again.
Fast forward a good few years in the future and we meet Patrick’s teenage son, Roy who has discovered some nonsensical journals that belonged to Patricks aunt. His aunt Thelma was almost an ethereal figure to Patrick and he placed her up in a pedestal, he developed an obsession about her and it seems like Roy is developing the same affliction.
It is completely understandable why these men have been completely taken in by Thelma. She is different, she is not the norm and life isn’t just black and white. She sees all the grey in-between and that makes her an interesting subject. Her imagination was mind blowing and she believed that nothing was impossible, from the supernatural to demons and witches. Her life was painting, and her imagination was a great source of that, until of course, it wasn’t. when that occurred she started visiting locations, quite often places that time forgot – haunting and disturbing places. These places are documented in her journal. At what point did it go so wrong and end up killing herself?
The Wise Friend blew my mind. Ramsey Campbell is a master storyteller that will appeal to all readers of modern horror. Filled with intrigue and suspense.
Thanks to Anne Cater @Random Things Tours for my spot on the blog tour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that “Campbell reigns supreme in the field today,” while S. T. Joshi has said that “future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.”