Carson Buckingham’s Home is a dark place. A place wrought with despair, anguish, and a sadness that is absolutely palpable. It’s also a place filled with arcane magic and forgotten lore. This is a step in another direction for horror. A very fresh, welcome step, from a very talented newcomer.
Following the deaths of her mother and beloved aunt, Kate Kavanagh inherits the family homestead in the Inrish enclave of Three Oaks, Connecticut; but the house has changed since she visited a year ago – no more windows on the first floor and gaslights and a wood burning stove in place of modern appliances. It also appears to be haunted.
And that’s just for starters.
Once she moves into the house, Kate herself begins a gradual but terifying biological transformation that is part of her inheritance, too; though not mentioned in the Will.
With the help of a Rottweiler that’s more human than animal, and a new friend whose farm stand is only open duck to dawn, and the “Rat Boys,” Kate will get some answers or die trying.
Why Buckingham isn’t well known to the genre is a mystery to me. Her prose is very well crafted, her story is air tight, and her characters are believable. What every horror reader wants in a story is presented right here in this little novella. The sheer intensity of the first several pages alone should be enough to ensure that the author gains loyal fans immediately. The first major event in the story is expertly geared to make any reader take a step back and re-evaluate Buckingham’s willingness to “go there”. And she goes there with style.
The story itself, on a whole, is dark. Darker than most fiction I’ve come across lately, I’d say. The setting feels like something out of a Bradbury tale, but with more emphasis on modern life. Buckingham’s descriptive ability doesn’t fall short for even a second, and the author paints beautifully dark images with her words. The fear that Buckingham writes into her main character’s life is wonderfully savory, and ensures a very quick, yet emotionally tumultuous read. In fact, I blasted through this novella twice, and found myself enjoying just as much the second time around, disturbed and dlighted all the same.
Where the story lacks in length, it more than makes up in its poetic gait. This is a writer who knows how to reach into the dark, almost gothic corners of the horror genre, and pull out all of the things lost with Poe and Lovecraft’s time. I’m genuinely happy that this one came across my desk, and wholeheartedly suggest that anyone who digs their horror with a side of myth get out there and grab this.
For more information on the book and where you can grab it, check out Buckingham’s website here.