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.Jump Cut by Helen Grant
Published by Fledgling Press on 29 September 2023
Genres: Horror Thrillers, Crime, Gothic
Format: ARC, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
The Simulacrum is the most famous lost movie in film history – would you tell someone your darkest secrets, just to lay hands on a copy? 104-year-old Mary Arden is the last surviving cast member of a notorious lost film. Holed up in Garthside, an Art Deco mansion reputed to be haunted, she has always refused interviews. Now Mary has agreed to talk to film enthusiast Theda Garrick. In return she demands all the salacious details of Theda’s tragic past. Only the hint of a truly stupendous discovery stops Theda walking out. But Mary’s prying questions are not the only thing Theda has to fear. The spirit of The Simulacrum walks Garthside by night, and it will turn an old tragedy into a new nightmare...
Jump Cut is a story that will stay with you. Emotionally tense and gloriously hypnotic, it is a story that is sure to enclose you in its tight embrace.
Jump Cut is Helen Grant’s next novel and lord is it a throat punch. I absolutely adored her last novel, Too Near the Dead and this one emitted similar feelings. The impending sense of dread, brilliant character development, a sense of place. I love the gothic nature of her tales; you really appreciate the blend of history and the present time coming together to create a hugely compulsive read.
Even if you’ve never read a Helen Grant book before, I 100% know that you’re going to love Jump Cut. A Gothic house with things that go bump in the night. Art Deco era. A vicious old hag that think she knows everything. A lost silent film with huge stakes.
Dear Helen Grant, thank you for writing yet another amazing horror/thriller read but dear god, am I cross at having yet another book hangover from your amazing writing!
Theda Garrick is grieving the loss of her much-loved husband, Max. Those opening chapters set the tone perfectly, the protagonist is floundering a bit since his death but being an avid silent era film enthusiast, she seeks out the aging Mary Arden, the actress of the lost film, The Simulacrum. She has refused to see anyone else about it but somehow Theda has passed some kind of test and is being allowed into Ms. Arden’s inner sanctum – Garthside, an art deco mansion to write a book on the film.
The journey to Garthside in Scotland is fraught with problems, most notably getting her car stuck in a ford that has to be pulled out by a tractor by a young farmer. When I say there is some highly strung sexual tension between the two, well, I’m not joking. But its too soon for her to be feeling these things, right?
The interviews with Mary Arden don’t quite go to planned. There’s a bit of give and take. Mary Arden gives her the information she needs for her book but in drips and drabs but in return Theda has to tell Mary about her life with Max. It’s nothing short of torture and Theda very quickly dislikes Mary Arden -she’s a snake that feeds from others misery. Maybe that’s why she’s lived so long.
Jump Cut is a story that keeps you hooked. I found myself thinking about it when I had to do other things – loading the dishwasher left me daydreaming of when I could get back to my book. Sudden moments of clarity would arrive, and I’d need to get back to reading – and it really was a need.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Grant has a passion for the Gothic and for ghost stories. Joyce Carol Oates has described her as “a brilliant chronicler of the uncanny as only those who dwell in places of dripping, graylit beauty can be.” A lifelong fan of the ghost story writer M.R.James, she has spoken at two M.R.James conferences and appeared at the Dublin Ghost Story Festival. She lives in Perthshire with her family, and when not writing, she likes to explore abandoned country houses and swim in freezing lochs.