Do you believe in being able to contact the dead? If so, this short novel might just be for you. I’ll admit, I’m one of those skeptics that believe the work of mediums and spiritualists is just hogwash. But hey! This is fiction, and I can suspend my skepticism for the length of a book.
Patrick McLaughlin is a medium. He has the ability to contact the deceased and in doing so, he feels he provides some comfort to the bereaved. He works out of a church in Glasgow, and often draws a decent crowd. It is at one such spiritualist ‘meeting’ that a man enters the church and in front of all in attendance, he slits his own throat. Before he dies, the man says to Patrick “Only you can help me”- “But only when I’m dead”.
“Patrick hadn’t turned his back on anyone, living or otherwise,
and he wasn’t about to start.”
The police identify the man as David Hopkirk, a 55 year-old man who had been accused of murdering his own young son. Released due to lack of evidence, David wants to find justice for his son, even if that means committing suicide…
“Death never did mean the end; if there was unfinished business,
it had to be dealt with.”
Patrick learns that Aidan Hopkirk, the ten year-old son of David, had fallen from a third story window in the Hopkirk home back in 2014. To further complicate matters, the family’s nanny had committed suicide a few weeks after Aidan’s death.
Who killed Aidan Hopkirk?
Was it the nanny? Aidan’s mother, Eleanor? Or… Eleanor’s lover Rob?
Using items belonging to Aidan, in conjunction with an Ouija Board, Patrick delves into the murder.
This novel expounds on the lengths people will go for self gratification. The mystery was interesting, even though a tad predictable. The paranormal elements weren’t featured to excess. What really detracted from the book, in my opinion, was the lack of character development. You felt you wanted to like Patrick, but you didn’t really know much of his personal history – what made him tick.
I enjoyed this novella, but sadly, I didn’t love it. Perhaps you will?
I received a digital copy of this novel from Bloodhound Books at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.
Emma L. Clapperton began writing in June 2010 and completed her first novel in April 2012.
She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her partner .