Books Magazine

The Waiting Room by F.G. Cottam

By Pamelascott

Martin Stride is a retired rock star, enjoying the quiet life with his young family on their beautiful estate. On the edge of his grounds lies a derelict Edwardian railway station waiting room once used to transport troops in The Great War. Silent for many years, it has become a playground for Martin's children but now they won't go near it.

Strange occurrences in the waiting room lead Martin to seek the help of TV's favourite ghost-hunter Julian Creed. But Creed's psychic ability is a fabrication to gain viewers. He doesn't believe in the paranormal. Until he spends a night in The Waiting Room.

***

[Through the wide two-way mirror on the wall of his office, Julian Creed observed his visitor and tried to imagine the impression being imposed by the artefacts surrounding him]

(Hodder & Stoughton, 12 April 2011, first published 24 June 2010, 294 pages, paperback, borrowed from my library)

***

***

This is my first time reading the author.

I love, absolutely love, ghost stories. The spookier the better. I love them in books and on the screen. I'm not a huge fan of visceral horror. It can be crude and unnecessary. But I love ghost stories that make my skin crawl. The Waiting Room is one such tale.

I love the fact the Stride family ask a TV psychic to help them. Such a person, likely a fraud, would be the last person I'd contact. However, Creed turns out to be a much better person than I expected him to be. He makes a great sacrifice to save the Stride family from the malevolence haunting them.

I love the dark secrets about the waiting room that Creed's researcher uncovers. It becomes clear that they're not dealing with a run-of-the-mill spirit (if there is such a thing). I found the Ross family tale both gripping and heart-breaking.

The Waiting Room is macabre and brilliant.

The Waiting Room by F.G. Cottam

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