by Austin Crawley
This one didn't waste any time with the creepy happenings! First scene and I'm already afraid to reach for my cat under the bed.
It also gets points for diversity for a Mexican protagonist. His wife has just died in a sporting accident and at the suggestion of his business partner, he goes away for a while so that his grief won't affect his work. He sees a tabloid story about a post box in an English village where residents send letters to their dead relatives and although he doesn't believe in ghosts or magic post boxes, the village is the sort of place his wife would have liked so he goes there and encounters the sort of strange village residents that make for good Horror movies. At first they just seem quirky, but then some weird stuff starts to happen in relation to the post box.
I liked the main character in this one. He has respect for women, despite the influence of a misogynist uncle, and he's generally a nice guy. The real strength of the book though is the supernatural happenings and the way the reader is smoothly drawn into an ordinary situation turning very strange. There are some genuine chills to be found here!
I've docked half a star because there were three typos. Yes it's only three, but that's three too many. His previous book was completely typo free. A post on his blog says they've been corrected now but it still went out with them.
The post also says the main character's background comes from his own first hand experience, which I found interesting because a couple of people reading this with me didn't think the cultural references were genuine. Apparently they were for a particular time and place.
Overall it was a really good read and left me thinking a lot. Things were explained, but not over explained so that it left me with a lot of contemplation. I would read it again, and might do so on Halloween because those scary bits really had me going!
I've read one other book and a short story by this author and already had him on my authors to watch list. I'll be interested to see what he comes up with next.