Reading is a great way to escape during lockdown but like many my focus is all over the place. Long heavy books remain closed on my bookcase and Kindle. For this reason I was excited to be invited on this blog tour for The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby. The blurb drew me in as I love ghost stories and it was short.
Book Review: The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby
Title: The Tower
Author: Anne Marie Ormsby
Release date: 10 Jan 2020
Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.
When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.
Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.
Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.
Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.
But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts
It has been a while since I have read any books classed as horror, but the blurb caught my attention. The book cover sent shivers down my spine so I approached with caution. The action began on the first page and kept going as Ada battled with the reemergence of the ability to see ghosts and the fear that the mounting dead bodies were a sign for her. As a character she is flawed; she has issues, a tendency to drink too much and scared of commitment. These make her an ideal protagonist as you want to discover what made her that way.
The best thing about this book is the setting. Many ghost stories, including recent ones, are set in old houses with a history, but this is set in inner city London and the condemned tower blocks speak for themselves. The details reminded me of one of the places I lived as a kid and the feeling of vulnerability is spot on.
The hauntings are creepy, and the sense of evil ramps up as the story unfolds. I loved the premise, the twists are clever and the unexpected ending made it a fulfilling ghost story.
Would I recommend?
If you fancy something different with a supernatural and slight horror edge without it being heavy, this is ideal. It was easily read in a day. I enjoyed the style and look forward to reading more from this author.
On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.
Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.
She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.
In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.
She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.
Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.
After ten years living in London, Anne-Marie moved to Margate where she lives with her husband and their daughter.
Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and introducing me to a new author.