stonehenge under dark clouds

Fellstones (by Ramsey Campbell)

Paul Dunston tries to distance himself from the Staveley family, the people who adopted him after the tragic death of his parents. He tries to distance himself but he does not know why, and it’s only when his adoptive sister – Dell – tracks him down that he begins to remember strange moments from his house near the Fellstones. Remembering half seen creatures, and a string of musical notes that begin to haunt his waking hours. He remembers his parents’ collection of classical music, the lessons they taught him, and their single minded insistence that his talent for music had some esoteric meaning.

But Paul has no idea the things that await him when Dell convinces him to return to his old home to visit his sick adoptive parents. The Fellstones is far closer to how he remembers it, with strange tunes and monsters intact.

Ramsey Campbell is widely considered one of the great living horror authors, but this is only the second of his books I have read, even though I have read a great many horror novels. In my defence there are lots of novels I have never read, and a great many authors, but I acknowledge this isn’t much of a defence. 

For me Fellstones is a vindication of his position at the top of the literary horror food chain. A slow burn read that eases the reader into dark places without the need for the spilling of blood or mindless violence. Campbell is as classical a writer as the composers that grace the pages of Fellstones, orchestrating his effect on the reader with no less skill. He eases Paul into a place where he has few allies, while ensuring that his villains do not descend into two-dimensional villainy. 

I am so very glad that Flame Tree Press allowed me to review a copy of this excellent book. Leading me to the simple conclusion that I have neglected this wonderful author for far too long.

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