A Note Below by Andrew Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Note Below: A Short Spooky Ghost Story (A Lansin Island Short Story) by Andrew Butcher is unlike the other two (soon to be three) books in the Lansin Island Series because this is a short story but like the other two, it is a great read. I believe it was meant to be read between A Death Displaced and A Body Displaced (Books 1 & 2 in the Lansin Island Series). I just found out about it and read it even though I read book 2 already but in no way feel it took anything away or that I missed anything by reading this out of order. I do suggest you read book one first though simply because you'll understand the setting and some of the same characters are in it giving you more depth and understanding or the area and history.
The story takes place on Lansin Island at the lighthouse that is haunted. Being a fan of all the ghost and paranormal stuff I was glad to see that the details the author made don't contradict what is known to be real (or at least supposed real) hauntings. For example, it is said that pets are more affected than people and in the story Lady (the dog) hides out in the lantern room and won't come down. Another thing is that the main character, Gavin, who doesn't believe in ghosts or at least that the lighthouse is haunted 'feels' a heaviness and other unexplained feelings. It also follows suit that ghosts are 'tied' in some way to the building, surroundings/land, or people. To me, it is little things like this that make the story all the more creditable no matter if you believe in ghosts or not.
Speaking of the main character, Gavin is such a hoot! He totally adds comedy into the story which makes him all the more real. Just his accent and how simple and practical he is about some things. I especially related to him (with a laugh) when his friend Jamie was looking for a name/number on his touchscreen phone with all the fancy features. Gavin seemed a bit torn between being impatient with his friend searching his phone and amused by all he has to go through just to find a number and thinks: "My phone has this crazy feature ... yer tap in the numbers ... yer hit dial ... an' it calls the person on the other end ... an' yer can talk to each other! But why would anyone want a phone with such a ridiculous feature, eh? They'd much rather have a phone that's actually a camera, or an MP3 player, or a phone that ties your shoelaces, prepares your lunch, feeds your dog."
I won't recap the whole story as the author did a wonderful description that you can read for yourself but what I will say is sometimes it takes the dead to appreciate, love, and understand all that you have in life. With this being said, I don't want you to think it has no creep factor to it. It isn't a hard core horror type, more of a cozy paranormal but it does have a creep factor to it. Even the font used by the author has a creep factor but it is especially creepy at the beginning of the story. Even before the beginning, just look at the cover. Is that the cliff of the island? That black and white photo even makes the water look cold and creepy. Is that ray of light pointing the way to go below? Where the note is? Or is that a ray of sunshine in a cold, harsh reality?
I recommend this story (the whole series) to anyone who enjoys paranormal stories.
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