A triptych of spooky tales, featuring a haunted tower, a fictional monster and a mysterious tree.
Dr. Patrick Denny, a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block, decides to return to practicing psychiatry in the sleepy town of Walingford. He is the thread that connects the three stories in this book, each part dealing with one of Patrick’s new patients.
The first story, the Tower, concerns Sam, a young woman who is crippled by fear and anxiety after the death of her parents. Can Patrick’s novel approach help resolve her problems?
In the Monster we meet Michael, a disturbed young man who is obsessed with one of Patrick’s novels, but are all the creatures chasing him strictly fictional?
Finally, in the Tree, Patrick is frustrated in his desire to help Amelia, a young woman who has been sedated for years because of her violent outbursts.
Despite the structure of the book, this is all about Patrick; the choices that have led him to seek comfort in Walingford, his decision to immerse himself once more with patients, and the actions he must take to overcome his writers block and move on with his life.
Witches and the occult feature throughout each story, and there is plenty to keep the horror fan entertained, although the horror is more psychological than visceral. The three stories are well written, the plots are engaging and the characters are believable.
I am unsure why the author decided to structure the book in the way that she did, as I don’t think it added to the book, in fact a more traditional narrative with all three stories woven together would have been my preference. However, it doesn’t detract from an enjoyable novel, and I award The Tower, The Monster and The Tree…
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