Just about to start typing and thought "Shit last time I did a review the flipping author popped up and made a comment. Therefore conscious of the litigious world we live in I ought to mind my p's and q's!"
I bought this book on a bit of a whim. Piley and Mondo have a Tuesday night radio show these days (they no longer comment on here or talk to me now they are famous you know :-() and Syd was a guest on there a few episodes back. Anyway due to that I looked out this book, which I believe is her first novel. It was only 99p for the Kindle edition so given that was a third of what I pay for The Big Issue now and half the price of a skinny latte in Pret a Manger I thought what have you got to lose and in seconds it was on my kindle in my Tor Be Read collection.
The Drowning Pool is a modern ghost story set in the Essex seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea. Sorry did I just say a ghost story in Leigh? Yep that is what I thought too, surely ghost stories need to be set in isolated mansions in the highlands or something. The whole thing is written in the first person as the personal account of the events that happen to Sarah Grey who has moved to Leigh with her young son after the tragic death of her husband. She has a group of very close friends who unwittingly on a summer night hold a sort of seance that starts a series of hauntings of Sarah that leads her to investigate the death of a lady with exactly the same name as her some 150 odd years before.
It is a brilliant story in which the various characters in the modern day life of Sarah end up completely intertwined with the historical characters in the 19th century and the ending is somewhat cataclysmic and not what I was expecting at the start at all.
The one observation I have to make is that the modern day characters live in a world of alcohol and drug filled fun - the use of "recreational" drugs is talked about. I know this is for many very much the reality of modern life - however for me I never got how any drug was "recreational". My drinking was rarely if ever fun. This isn't a criticism of the book at all, in fact it was truly enlightening of Syd to open this world a little to me. It only relates to me reading about characters in a world I simply cannot inhabit ; the "Oh I get drunk once in a blue moon at a friends gathering" and "I'll smoke pot when it is offered to me"... bizarre people what's the point in that! Chemically induced oblivion only has any point if it is pretty much a constant situation for me... A small insight for me into the "real" world. My wife has had a few "girls" nights out as we approach Christmas where she has the rare few glasses of wine or Southern Comfort., me I avoid the Christmas party at work and go to a Step meeting in an Age Concern building in Canterbury... I am lucky that my wife has never really been a big social drinker... although that could be as a result of watching me slowly drowning myself towards death with booze - if she'd had the good fortune to marry a normal guy she might have a better relationship with alcohol herself... 'tis a family illness as they say.
Sorry - back to book. Excellent read with a Furtheron double thumbs up.