Monday, 26 March 2012
Book Review: Broadmaw Bay by F G Cottam
by F G Cottam
Hodder & Stoughton
ARC from amazon vine.
Brodmaw Bay seems to be the perfect refuge for James Greer and his family. When his young son is the victim of a brutal mugging, Greer wants to leave London - the sooner the better - for the charming old-fashioned fishing port he has just discovered.
But was finding Brodmaw Bay more than a happy accident? What is the connection between the village and his beautiful wife? When his friendly new neighbours say they'd welcome some new blood - in a village where the same families seem to have lived for generations - are they telling the whole truth?
Perhaps the village isn't so much welcoming them as luring them. To something ancient and evil. As it has lured others before . . .
After their son is beaten up on his way to school, the Greer family decide that it is now the right time to move out of London and go to somewhere idyllic beside the sea, something that they've talked about for years but never done. James (the father) finds a children's book in the hospital as he is standing vigil at his son's bedside. The book has lovely illustrations of Broadmaw Bay, illustrations very reminiscent of his wife Lily's work, but she insists she's never been to the place. James decides that Broadmaw Bay is where they should relocate too.
For a book called Broadmaw Bay, it was almost half-way through the book befre we got to see the place. James goes there first to see if would be a suitable place for his family, which I found rather strange. Shouldn't all of them have some hand in the decision rather than just him? The locals seemed warm and friendly and up for having some new blood in the village and yes, they would be able to buy a house there.
Most of the first half of the book seemed to dwell far too much on the Greers' disenchantment with London, which to me slowed the plot down considerably. A few chapters in we also discover that Lily was having an affair, which seemed to come out of nowhere and added nothing at all to the story. Why do very few books seem to have any happily married couples in them? I'm fed up reading about affairs and that soured the rest of the book for me. If I wanted a soap opera, I'd watch Eastenders (which I don't.) Why couldn't it have been a happily married couple coping with their son's trauma? Why bring an affair into it at all?
This book had interesting characters, but the writing seemed very old-fashioned and it seemed to plod along with not very much happening for quite some time. I was expecting more pace and more menace from a book billed as horror. I found it a bit predictable, but not a bad story in its way.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author of The Chosen.