I’m really pleased to be able to review this book — not just because I know the author (shameless boast!), but because I suspect most people who read Changing Pages wouldn’t have previously come across it; plus, I love to bring you new books and authors. Five Deaths and Two Ghosts is a collection of stories by Sarah-Louise Knight. This is Sarah’s first published collection of short stories and I’m sure it won’t be her last.
Each story is satisfyingly different as they all take unexpected turns — which is exactly what you’d hope for from a short story; there’re deaths aplenty and lots to keep you guessing until the end. The collection opens with the aptly named ‘Trust’. In ‘Trust’, a woman named Lydia has been fooling around with a ouji board. She manages to conjure up a spirit that enters her house and cleverly persuades her that he is a friend. When Lydia’s trust is betrayed events take an unexpected turn.
In ‘The Eavesdropper’, the innocent games of two boys lead to a tragedy that neither would’ve predicted. The twist at the end of this story made me shiver! The story’s title is brilliant but if I told you why, I would be giving too much away.
My favourite story in the collection is ‘One Green Eye, One Blue’. This is a clever story about the memory loss that a woman experiences after her husband’s murder. When trying to piece together the events of the day he died, she is forced to face some uncomfortable truths. I loved the pace of this story and I felt it matched the events occurring within the story perfectly
In ‘Meg’s Legacy’, Meg’s brother is forced back to the house where she died as a child during a summer holiday. As he relives the events of that terrible summer, he is confronted by some ghostly visitations that caused him to question what really happened on the day she died.
The final story in the collection is cheerfully named ‘Bread and Jam’. Peter is forced to temporarily live with his mother before she dies. During this time, he makes some discoveries that will change the way he remembers her. This story is a little less eerie than some of the others, but it reminds us that perhaps we never really know anyone completely.
Sarah’s love of writing comes across throughout this book; and she certainly has the gift of weaving a story, building tension, and delivering surprises. Ghost stories are not my usual genre of choice but I loved these as they had just the right amount of fear and uncertainty for a cowardly-custard like me; and they didn’t scare me so much that I couldn’t read them before going to sleep at night! I shall be leaving this book on the bedside table in my spare room for any unsuspecting ghost-loving guests!
Short stories are a great way of either getting back into reading after a reading slump or encouraging new readers. Stories where lots happens — but in a succinct and carefully worded way — are perfect for supposed ‘non readers’. This collection meets all of that criteria. At the moment Five Deaths and Two Ghosts along with Sarah’s novel Control are only available on Amazon. I’m hopeful that in the future we’ll be able to see these, and more of Sarah’s work, at a bookshop near you!
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About The Author
Sarah-Louise Knight is an avid reader, enthusiastic writer, and keen baker. She is a fan of mysteries, thrillers, suspense and the amazing Stephen King!
Review by Angela Vincent Of Changing Pages | The Black Lion is a humble interdisciplinary journal that values your voice. Visit the submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream Magazine. | Copyright Policy
Author bio from Twitter. Book image from Amazon.