Josh Alliston 29 November 2011 - 2:38pm
The story of Brodmaw Bay is one of a family in personal crisis, and their endeavour for happiness and a new life.
But unfortunately their plans are blighted by vengeful spirits, violent pagans and ancient evils. Where Brodmaw Bay exceeds is in its chilling supernatural elements; from the ghost of a small child brutally murdered a century before to the watchful demons hiding in the dark, Cottam describes them perfectly. The way the demons that plague the protagonists, by making themselves noticed out of the corner of the eye, only to evaporate into a trick of the light on closer inspection, sends shivers down the spine, whilst the ghost of young Madeline is both pitiable and terrifying. Madeline's hollow eyes, tattered clothes and distant voice bring this sympathetic character to life (relatively speaking).
Sadly, much of book is not quite so engaging. Our two main protagonists are hard to care for, as James is mildly racist and perpetually miserable whilst Lillian is haughty and adulterous. They are also a bit slow on the uptake. Throughout the first two thirds of the book, various things practically scream at them not to go to Brodmaw Bay - everything about the place seems wrong and yet they blunder in anyway, desperate to get away from their hectic London base. Thankfully, their children and other supporting characters are much more agreeable, even the evil ones.
Although far from perfect, Brodmaw Bay is good fun and offers chills and excitement aplenty.