With Widow’s Point, Richard and Billy Chizmar don’t look to the change the face of modern horror fiction, instead, they choose to loosen bowels with this unnerving and bloody ghost story. And, you know what? I’m okay with that. Ghost stories are a personal favourite of mine. Ever since I read Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter, I’ve been a huge fan of them and love it when I come across a good one such as this.
Widow’s Point has all of the necessary ingredients to make it a successful scary story: a bloody history of an abandoned lighthouse, an acclaimed author prepared to lock himself inside the lighthouse for a few days with no way of reaching the outside world and the found footage style narration which turns out to be a wise choice indeed.
Widow’s Point isn’t simply a creepy tale featuring inanimate objects moving unaided around the room and strange voices coming from the dark, though there is some of that. The rich, dark, often gruesome history of the lighthouse is explored thoroughly throughout the book and there is a prevalent sense of foreboding. I’m not usually a fan of the found footage narration style but here I’ll make an exception, it works really well. We get to experience everything Thomas Livingston does and it gives off a very claustrophobic vibe as he spends his hours entombed within the lighthouse tortured by the ghosts of its past.
I’ve previously described Chizmar’s writing as smooth and free-flowing, such is the case here. I found it impossible to tell which of the Chizmar’s wrote which part, so bravo to the pair for producing such a cohesive narrative. I also felt there was a great deal explored in the book and even though Widow’s Point is a novella, it still has a meaty novel like feel to it and there is plenty going on with barely time to pause for breath.
Widow’s Point does exactly as it says on the tin. I had a great time reading it and as a huge fan of ghost stories, I was well pleased by the book’s end. It isn’t going to blow you away with new and interesting ideas, instead, it simply chooses to entertain and scare, and in this case, it’s job well done.
4/5 urban legends from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.