Tormentor by William Meikle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Jim Greenwood moves to the Isle of Skye to start a new life after his wife's death, he has the misfortune of buying a house with a dark past. Will Jim meet the same fate as the previous owners?
Tormentor is the story of a house with a troubled past and the man who has the misfortune of trying to make a new life there. While I've read two other haunted house stories by William Meikle, Broken Sigil and Pentacle, this one was like neither.
It started simply, with a smudge of soot on the wall. The other islanders are pretty tight-lipped about the house but Jim gradually pieces things together, his grip on sanity loosening in the process.
This one is a slow burn, as much about island life and Jim's adjustments as it was about a man tormented by the entity living in his house, although torment might be a strong word for it.
The isolation of living on an island, coupled with it happening during winter, give the tale a lot of atmosphere. I kept wondering what the hell Jim was going to do next and what was going on behind the scenes.
I wasn't terribly fond of the ending but it was a gripping read while it lasted. Remind me not to buy a house on a Scotish island any time soon. Four out of five stars.
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