Barry’s Lodge

...Overall, it's a standard horror book, a little trope heavy, but with a reasonable twist at the end....

Fred wants to be a writer but has failed at it for the last five years. As a last ditch attempt his father-in-law, Frank, sends him to a Lodge in the middle of nowhere to give Fred the space and tranquillity to do finally complete a novel. He gives him a week to write something as the financial help that Frank is giving to Fred and his family is soon coming to an end.
And so Fred heads off to the lodge, in the middle of nowhere, and meets the eccentric caretaker Mr Barry. He also finds that the hotel is dilapidated, there are a set of bizarre rules for guests to follow and that he is the only guest in the establishment. Not to mention that there is also a major storm coming. Things go from strange to worse as he begins to see and hear things, have nightmares and finds strange cuts on his body. As he begins to lose his mind, he finds out that the hotel was built near the site of a large asylum with a very shady reputation. Fred now has to hold it together while finding out just what is happening to him.

This is an interesting horror story with what appears to be several influences rolled together to flesh out the story. The plot is fairly standard, author in strange place in middle of nowhere out of touch with society, local lunatic asylum experimenting on inmates. For the bulk of the plot there is nothing to really set it apart from a lot of other stories. The characters are enjoyable to read, if only because they are so normal in such a strange situation. The writing is pretty descriptive, though at times the author goes a little over the top with some words. However, it is easy to read and I found myself completing in a few hours, beginning to end.

The other thing that struck me was the constant use of American spelling, terms and phrases throughout a book set in England and written by an British author. As a British reader, it sometimes pulls you out of the story. The horror and the scares in it are fairly standard, but the twist at the end is pretty good and looking back you can see where the author has included clues as to what is truly going on. No I’m not going to spoil it.

Overall, it’s a standard horror book, a little trope heavy, but with a reasonable twist at the end.

Rating: 3
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