By: Dylan J. Morgan
Publication Date: March 23, 2020
Genre: Horror/Paranormal/Ghost Story
Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.
The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.
But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.
While focusing mostly on the present day events, Highland Cove takes the path of bouncing back to what Highland Cove was years before it was abandoned, shedding light on its operation and possibly leading the readers to draw certain conclusions about the location now as the documentary group heads to make create their movie. Of course, just like any horror story and structured much like horror films, things go wrong (to no one’s surprise). The question that lingers in any story like this is piecing together whether its paranormal or not and what are the secrets as the story’s pieces fall into place.
What is nice is that there aren’t an overbearing amount of characters and the story is written in third person but follows only a few of the characters, leaving some space for what happened in a blindspot and leaves space for some mystery. In reality, the characters here are designed fairly shallow and the story itself does follow through a lot of the expected horror motions but what does grab it well is how its written. It creates a lot of descriptions and manage to vividly portray not only the feeling of the character in the moment but also visualize what the scene would look like in our minds.
Horror is one of those genres that in terms of movies, I’m fairly desensitized and it somehow has translated to novels, which is probably why I sound much less enthused. However, as little as I read horror novels, this one does a pretty decent job. It starts off a little slow as the characters are introduced and there are some horror tropes that happen but as it settles into the abandoned hospital and some strange and creepy things start happening, the writing itself does manage to get under our skin. I don’t talk about author’s writing style a lot but in this case, Dylan J. Morgan care in its details and how he executes each step of the novel is what makes Highland Cove a mysterious and creepy read.
Purchase Link: Amazon
About the Author
Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.
He is the multi-genre author of ten books, all available exclussively to Amazon. Focusing on Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia, and sometimes a hint of Science-Fiction, his books cater for those readers who enjoy a dark, terrifying journey into worlds where a happy ending is seldom seen.
When not writing, and when not reading, he can be found roaming the realm of the Witcher 3, or witnessing satisfying deaths on Game of Thrones, or even listening to some of the loudest heavy metal in his iTunes’ library.
If you’re searching for that light at the end of the tunnel then stop looking—you won’t find it here.
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