I have something really special for you today, bookworms!
As part of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, several authors were invited to write a short story based on a picture of somewhere in Scotland, the result is bloody brilliant! Today, I am sharing with you my review of Sara Sheridan’s contribution, Sanctuary.
Sara’s picture prompt is that of the mural of Lady Alice Lilbourne from the walls of Kinneil House in Bo’ness.
Lady Alice Lilbourne is thought to haunt the house following her supposed suicide in the mid 17th century.
When Linda moves back to the area she grew up in, having moved away with her ex-boyfriend, unqualified and in need of work, she manages to secure herself the role of caretaker for the derelict mansion. She’s heard the stories of the resident ghost but that doesn’t faze her at all.
My god … How Sheridan has managed to pack so much in to nineteen pages I do not know! What a bloody writer!!!!
I was immediately on edge, literally sat up in bed, covers wrapped tightly around me (just in case … well … Lady Alice decided to pay a visit to Yorkshire!)
As Linda is left o deal with the conservationist who has arrived to look at the murals which have saved the building from being torn down, she looks back on her life with her ex, Jim.
I cannot talk more about the plot with out giving anything away but let me tell you, it packs a punch! Sheridan has done her research on this (as did I as soon as I finished it! I love ghost stories!) and it is so apparent on the pages that this is an area she knows about. I was instantly drawn in to what was happening, instantly had this creepy feeling, as though I was being watched whilst reading – I loved it!!!
Beautifully written, the words are perfect; each one selected to give the maximum impact in a very small amount of words.
I can’t believe how much I felt for Linda from the start, what a wonderful piece of writing! A true lesson in how to write a short story that impacts the reader.
I’ve never read any of Sheridan’s work before, but I will be rectifying that very soon!!!
Bloody Scotland is worth the money for this contribution alone, the rest are a superb bonus!!
My hugest of thanks to Fiona Brownlee and the Bloody Scotland team for my review copy.
Seriously bookworms, click the link below and go and get your copy!!!!
Please do keep up with the rest of the tour as there are some excellent stories in here!!!
About the author …