Published by Crane Publishing on 1 January 2021
Genres: Horror, Horror & Ghost Stories
Source: Purchased Book
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After accepting a generous opportunity to start afresh, Leslie Wills, a young man from Stoke-on-Trent, eagerly begins his long-distance journey to the Scottish Highlands of Elphin, a settled village that sits huddled amongst the dominating mountains. Its people are welcoming, and the beauty of the land is great. But deep within its Highland paths, a location rests hidden from the public’s eye. A location which entices you to learn the truth of its troubled past. But once you bear witness to its sights and sounds, its presences will never allow you to forget.
Uncover the truth, Journeying back to a forgotten time. With a plot full of secrets and suspicion that will leave you longing for answers.
Echoes of Home by M.L.Rayner captures perfectly what highland life is – desolate, haunting but with a heartbeat that beats life into its ancient lands.
Death of a parent. Child Death.
My Review of Echoes of Home
I read Echoes of Home by M.L.Rayner as part of a read along with the Indie Horror Book Club Discord.
The beautiful village of Elphin, located north-west of Ullapool, serves as the setting for Echoes of Home. During my teenage years, while staying in Sutherland, I frequently passed through this picturesque village. Like much of the far north, Elphin is renowned for its stunning scenery and wild weather. If you haven’t visited yet, the entirety of the NC500 is not only stunning but also a bit rugged.
Image credit: True Highlands
Trying to find the right words to describe Echoes of Home by M.L. Rayner is hard! This is a book that came completely out of nowhere for me. The themes discussed were hard hitting, it was a little like getting a paper cut that wouldn’t stop bleeding. Parental death, financial hardship, caring for sick parents and the story of the highland famine. It is taut, like a coiled spring. You’ll adore the setting, the author possessing all the skills in order to transport you right to the heart of the story.
Leslie Wills, a man from Stoke-On-Trent is down on his luck. His mother has just passed away after a long battle with illness and Leslie one of five children is the only one left to care for her. He didn’t have the opportunities that his siblings did to leave home and chase lucrative careers. But when his brother, Johnathan turns up after the funeral and offers him an out, Leslie gladly accepts. The only catch? It’s nine hours away in Scotland. Elphin to be exact. With nothing but wilderness and his thoughts for company.
I enjoyed the atmosphere so much that it took me back to my reading experiences of Outlander, you can read my review here.
Echoes of Home takes an ordinary horror trope and transforms it into something original. Rayner’s impressive writing makes this story impossible to put down.
Being originally a Golspie girl, I am familiar with the Highland Clearances. An event that took place under the rule of The Duke of Sutherland. He also valued his land and the potential of how much money they could earn him. So, in favour of renting out fields to pasture he evicted his tenants far and wide and didn’t care a damn what happened to them. This is a similar portrayal to the events that took place in Echoes of Home.
Echoes of Home by M.L.Rayner
Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.
Twist and turns that will smack you in the face. A ghost story with a real difference. It has heart and a real need to be heard.
What was the last ghost story that really surprised you?