Review of gothic horror The Folly at Raighvan Park by Judith Crow
Desperate to escape memories of a devastating railway accident, Lord Stretton accepts an invitation to Raighvan Park, the home of his childhood friend, Sir David Joyce.
But Stretton discovers that Raighvan Park is not the safe haven he had been seeking. The ghosts which have haunted him since the accident seem to have followed him, and the situation grows darker when human remains are discovered at Sir David’s proposed folly.
Are the ghosts of the accident still stalking him? Or is there something more sinister at work at Raighvan Park?
Excerpt from The Folly at Raighvan Park
“You were expecting Father Jeremiah’s treasure?” he ventured, and Sir David nodded. “But this is equally as exciting!” Rosewood bent down and picked up the skull from one of the skeletons so he could look at it. “These are the very people who lived at Raighvan before you. Face to face, current and previous owners. Only-” He stopped suddenly and shuffled the skull in his hand so he could observe it more closely. “Oh, that is interesting.”
“Do share, Rosewood,” Sir David said, although the frown on his face suggested he could not find any common ground with the antiquarian at this point in time. “Tell us what is so interesting.”
“See the lesions within the skull here?” Rosewood asked, holding up the grisly object to invite the gentlemen to peer at it.
“Doubtless caused by one of the shovels,” Sir David said. “I can’t say I instructed the men to be particularly careful.”
A ripple of laughter followed his words, which Rosewood joined in with before shaking his head. “No, Sir David. I am convinced these lesions were present in life. This poor fellow – or woman maybe – had leprosy. I’ve no doubt of it.”
“Leprosy?” Sir David’s eyes flashed as he took a dramatic step backwards. “I say, Rosewood, perhaps you oughtn’t be waving that thing around?”
“There’s no harm now,” Henry Rosewood replied, shrugging his shoulders before he returned the skull to the headless skeleton. “Did you know the chapel had been a lazar house?”
My Review of The Folly at Raighvan Park
Well, this was a haunting story (literally) that I’ve not read anything like before. Granted, I haven’t read a ton of tales about hauntings, but the twist at the end of this book definitely snuck up on me. Actually, twists, multiple, and I was just so impressed with how everything worked together to arrive at some unexpected but completely logical conclusions. I love stories that just unravel before my eyes, and this did that with beautifully done creeping tension. Despite being a short book, this felt fully fleshed out. The characters were real, especially for the time period, and the setting assisted in the plot and characterizations. A perfect story for Halloween season or just anytime, really.
About Judith Crow
Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her work draws inspiration from folklore, experience and the natural world.
The Backwater, Judith’s debut book, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019, and her novel, Honour’s Rest, was a finalist in the Eyelands Book Award as well as being selected as a “top book for teens” for Winter 2021 in The Scotsman.
When she isn’t writing, Judith is a teacher at a primary school in Caithness. She sometimes finds that writing gets usurped by crafting, music, and being a generally doting spaniel owner.
Judith Crow will be awarding a £10 Crowvus Voucher to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.