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When property developer Finn Harper impulsively decides to make an investment with his wife whilst away together in North Wales for their anniversary, it seems an opportunity almost too good to be true. But as the disturbing truth of the home’s abandonment unravels itself, Finn finds himself alone, and a martyr of the local community. He must confront some personal demons, forcing him to consider what, or even who, is real.
‘I couldn’t put it down’ – Charles Baker, Actor, Breaking Bad
A little while ago, I was contacted on Twitter and asked if I would review Coal House by WS Barton I’ll be honest; this is not my usual type of story… but the blurb on Amazon had me hooked. It’s the story of a man named Finn and his wife who are small time property developers. After a disappointing deal on a house, they decide to go away for a weekend, to Wales. Here they stumble upon an auction, and end up buying a house. And that’s where the story gets creepy!
Finn’s wife Clara travels back to London to clear up their affairs, while he heads to begin work on the property they’ve just bought. It’s isolated and abandoned, and almost immediately strange things begin to happen. He begins to wonder who and what are real, as he learns more about the history of the house and its abdandonment. Clara eventually joins him and the story – of the couple as well as that of the house – unfolds further.
I found this book scary and enthralling in equal measure. I would say it’s more psychological drama than out and out horror; I had to stop reading it at night because it was freaking me out a little, causing my mind to wander! I found the writing a little too wordy for my taste; I tend to go for the Stephen King school of thought when it comes to how many words will do. I think that’s more my personal taste than the quality of the book though, and the fact I kept reading (when I have launched a book across the room for less) proves the story is worth it.
If suspense and psychological drama are your cup of tea, you’ll probably love this book; it’s different to any other book in that genre that I’ve read before and is definitely worth a read – Vicky Charles
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, absolutely excellent for a debut novel. Scary, emotional and captivating. Perfect for this time of year as Halloween is upon us. It left me wanting more, so hopefully the author has other stories that he can turn into books up his sleeve. - Philip Gatt
I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked from the start. It covers a number of emotions as you read the captivating story. Well worth a read. You won’t want to put it down! – Gemma W
Loved this book, I was hooked from the first chapter. An emotional horror story which is both entertaining and suspenseful. It’s refreshing to find a book that is different and does not follow the traditional formula’s horror books - Chris E
About the Author
W.S. Barton is a critically acclaimed best-selling author and ghostwriter for renowned sportsmen, actors and musicians. Recently, he has worked in Hollywood with the actor Charles Baker (Breaking Bad, the Blacklist, Wild) and in Texas with ‘the grandfather of US youth soccer’, Gordon Jago MBE. W.S. Barton – the football columnist for international sports broadcaster Setanta Sports – has been described by the Independent as ‘the leading writer on Manchester United on the period between Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson’ and has ghostwritten the autobiographies of Brian Greenhoff, Gordon Hill, Danny Higginbotham and Mike Duxbury. His books ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ and ’74/75’ received widespread acclaim from the major UK broadsheets. ‘Coal House’ is his debut novel.
Title: Coal House ISBN: 978-1910957-00-4 Author: W.S. Barton
Pages: 200 Binding: Paperback Publication date: 26th October, 2015.