The Wood & Copper Inn and other Short Stories of the Supernatural by Guadalupe Neri
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was looking forward to this book, I love spooky stories, the old fashioned Victorian kind, no gore, just suspense and spine-tingling.
Well, I gave this book a three-story chance to try and find the spine-tingling, but I'm sad to say I never found it.
I even downloaded the preview first, just to check, since I have never read anything from this writer before and the first story started well, great description of our protagonist and the Wood & Copper Inn, absolutely fabulous start *IF* the story had been based in the inn, but, after buying the book, I find out, no, the long and drawn-out interview with the mysterious old man in the inn is just preamble, the only point to it being that the traveller is warned to take the longer, southern pass through the mountains, 'cause there's bad things in them thar hills this time of year. Okay, I forgave the overly long preamble in favour of something spine-tingling happening in the rest of the story. I did not get it, I just got many, many pages of moralising conversation that went over and over the same ideas again and again and I ended up flicking through to see if there would be anything interesting at the end. Answer was, no.
Okay, I thought, one story that's not for me, some people may like that style, let's try the next one. Um, well, again, big build up, strange old lady, spooky house, odd home-help in the form of a big body guard and ancient old assistant - great, looking forward to this one. BUT, no, I got Little Big Man without the Cowboys and Indians. This would have been fine, have the lady tell her spooky story, derivative, but okay, but what's the twist, what is going to happen at the end to give me as a reader a payoff? The answer, nothing! In this one, also, I noted that the author seems to think that nouns and adjectives come in pairs and those pairs should remain throughout the story, e.g. 'iron poker', there was no other poker in the story, made of another metal, or otherwise, so why, every time it is referred to, do I need to know it is made of iron? 'Dark red-painted house' as well, I think calling it 'the house' after describing it would have been okay.
I laboured on to the third story and that is why this book got two stars - it had a point, a mildly interesting point, not original, but at least partially satisfying. I decided to leave the book on a positive note at that point.
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