Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy~ Short Stories by Kath Russell ~ review

 December 12, 2011
Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy, by Kath Russell, is a collection of three contemporary stories featuring spirits who haunt the waterways, shores and marshes of the Old Line State and the mortals who encounter them.

The restless shade of John Wilkes Booth wanders his escape route to Virginia in search of the horse he abandoned on the Maryland shore, Moll Dyer, accused of witchcraft long ago, returns to the scene of her tragic death on a stormy winter night and a mysterious spirit watches over troubling events on a tidewater college campus.

Maryland is home to the Poe gravesite, the Blair Witch Project and many other spooky connections and legends. Maryland ghosts are charming and chilly, horrible and helpful, vengeful and protective -- apparitions to suit every paranormal taste.

When it comes to certain geographies, like the Sleepy Hollow of the immortal Washington Irving tale or the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Nathaniel Hawthorne's witchy setting, readers just know they are in for a satisfyingly supernatural encounter.

My take on this book:
"Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy" by Kath Russell is a compilation of three hauntingly good short stories. 

In  "The Ghost of John Wilkes Booth" Hayden Bashford  is a retired journalist who has been staying in a tiny town where local lore has it that John Wilkes Booth's spirit has been sited, some say looking for his shoe others say looking for his horse which was buried in the area. When a local land developer purchases a historical homestead the town's historical society looks for a way to stop him, and when an extinct osprey is spotted on the land they think they have found it.When the developer winds up dead and they find horseshoes in the hole in which he fell, could he have stumbled upon the grave of the long buried horse, but more than that it becomes a who-dun-it as to what happens to the land developer.

In "Ghost Of A Smile" Corliss Griffith has been commissioned by the town of Leonardstown to create a statue of Moll Dyer an alleged witch who lived in the 1690's. Thing is a local religious leader doesn't want her to do it, so when strange things start happening, who is behind it, the locals who were against the statue or is it the spirit of Moll Dyer?

In "The Ghost Of Lyon Lodge" we meet Chelsea Hughes a college student who has been harassed by Dobbs Marshall since high school. Thing is he is from a wealthy family and has a way of turning things around so that people don't believe Chelsea. When he takes things to far will it take an otherworldly presence to save her?

I found each story a quick but satisfying read.Often with a short story its hard to get a real sense of the characters but  Kath Russell creates well developed characters that bring each story to life. While there is a ghostly presence in each story they really are secondary to the actual plot of each story.Instead I  found myself caught up in the dramas she created around each character.

 While I enjoyed each story my favorite easily was "A Ghost Of A Smile," the plot of this one just captured my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Corliss was a character that was easy to relate to, and her problems from divorce to raising a teen, as well as her trust issues seemed very realistic. I always enjoy when animals are included in a story and we meet Toby an adopted German Shepherd as well as a mysterious white dog. Overall a very quick read that left me wanting more. Fans of short stories where there is a bit of mystery and suspense with a supernatural twist will certainly want to check this book out!

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