Echoes of Home by M.L Rayner @M_L_Rayner @QuestionPress #BookReview

Posted June 14, 2021 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Echoes of Home: A Ghost Story by M.L. Rayner
Published by Question Mark Press on January 1, 2021
Format: eBook, Hardback
Source: Bought, Author
Pages: 262
Also by this author: Amongst The Mists

After accepting a generous opportunity to start afresh, Leslie Wills, a young man from Stoke-on-Trent, eagerly begins his long-distance journey to the Scottish Highlands of Elphin, a settled village that sits huddled amongst the dominating mountains.

Its people are welcoming, and the beauty of the land is great.

But deep within its Highland paths, a location rests hidden from the public’s eye.

A location which entices you to learn the truth of its troubled past.

But once you bear witness to its sights and sounds, its presences will never allow you to forget.

Uncover the truth, Journeying back to a forgotten time. With a plot full of secrets and suspicion that will leave you longing for answers.

Never did I think that a ghost story could stir up such emotions and cause a nice lump in my throat.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started Echoes of Home, I read all the rave reviews and couldn’t wait to take the plunge.

The writing is mesmerising and haunting. We are sucked into the details of the cottage, the landscape and the mystery behind the cottage and the night that has haunted it ever since. I saw a lot of comments say this was slow reading. I wouldn’t agree, I felt the amount of detail and the pace of the book added the element of intensity that was needed. It gave the story the respect it deserved. Just the kind of pace I craved.

The way in which it has been written, reminds me of something out of Wilkie Collins, back to when ghosts stories were more than poltergeists trying to kill you. The small things in this book can send chills to your bones. The tapping of a window, the unexplained lantern swaying across the land. Small things that add to the bigger story and can unsettle you just as easy.

I loved taking my time with this book, it was a treat to end the day with a chapter or two, in bed without the lights on (that’s how all good ghost stories should be read). The journey we are taken on is heartbreaking but at the same time, it was fulfilling for the characters involved. The bonds of people are there to enrich our lives and this was shown. However, it always bodes well to remember that there are some truly evil, arrogant people out there in the world, who only look after their own. Sadly without these awful people, we wouldn’t have this story.

If I had the chance I would have devoured this whole. It is the type of book I adore and I am so glad I managed to sit and experience Leslie’s journey. Bittersweet as it may be. One thing that did unsettle me and still does is the imagery, the imagery of Martha peering around the door looking up at Leslie, not sure if it was my own interpretation but man I had chills!

You need to pay attention to this book and the eloquent words in front of you. They are there for a reason, and that clanger comes to you near the end. Hearsay in a book is great and then when it means something well…. it can blow your mind. Cryptic, I know. The story comes full circle and I found it poignant, haunting, mesmerising, I could go on. The sorrow from this book is what I take away, so much pain and suffering, not made any easier due to human greed.

The extra at the end of the book where the author describes the places and his families links are fascinating and you can really tell his heart and soul is in this book.

I CAN NOT wait to read Matt’s next book, if this is anything to go by I know he’s going to knock it out of the park!

Until next time xxx

About M.L. Rayner

Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt was welcomed into the family of Question Mark Press publishing and now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.

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