Saturday Read: The House of Lost Souls, by FG Cottam

I’ll admit it – I have a problem. I’m slightly addicted to all things paranormal. My DVR is bursting with old episodes of Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State and I have read every single Fear Street book ever printed. However, despite my voracious appetite for this stuff, I still find it rare to stumble across a decent supernatural thriller. Sure there are old standards like Dean Koontz and even Stephen King, but often those ones focus on “monsters” as opposed to ghosts, which are really more my thing. So once I found “The House of Lost Souls,” I knew I had to get my hands on it!

This novel focuses on Nick Mason and Paul Seaton. Nick’s sister is slowly spinning into insanity after a visit to the notorious Fischer House in England where horrific, satanic acts and rituals took place in the first half of the century. Paul Seaton is a “sensitive” journalist who is called in to save Nick’s sister. Why Paul, you might wonder? Because, he is the only known person to visit Fischer House and come out with both his sanity and his life. As Paul works to save the girl, he must confront supernatural experiences from his past by returning to Fischer House and coming to terms with the evil that lurks there.

I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed “The House of Lost Souls”. Not only is it extremely well-written, with vivid, lush descriptions of one of my favorite cities in the world, London, England, but the characters are well-developed and most importantly, believable. While reading, I felt like I may have been listening to my old friend recount their adventures overseas, like I was actually there and being spoken to by a real person, instead of just words on a page.

Another part of the writing that I was really impressed with was the intertwining storylines. The book is full of long stories that are interesting within themselves, but seem to have little to do with the plot at hand. Just when you’re about to give up on this book on a tangent, Cottam connects the recollection to the main story, demonstrating his cleverness. This really left me feeling like Cottam is well-read and probably wrote a book that he would want to read. My favorite little storyline had to be of a photographer, Pandora Gibson-Hoare and her involvement with Klaus Fischer (of the Fischer House). This tangent begins with Paul remembering an old girlfriend and his attempt to help her with a fashion school project on Pandora Gibson-Hoare. This project is eventually what lead Paul initially to the Fischer House, but as I said before, is so cleverly done that you never see it coming. Cottam also weaves real people into the novel, like horror novelist Dennis Wheatley and world famous satanist Aleister Crowley. This addition of real characters makes the story even more believable and really enhances the experience.

If you are a fan of the paranormal, specifically a good ghost story, then you must read “The House of Lost Souls,” by FG Cottam. With its rich atmosphere, great characters and most importantly, its spooky story, you will not be disappointed.

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