My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A literary ghost story set in a sinister, remote English manor house and revolving around the recording of a cult classic album in the early 1970’s. Elizabeth Hand does a great job of slowly building a sense of dread.
An added bonus is the vivid, realistic detail about the folk rock music scene of that era. Having a husband who’s a devotee of Fairport Convention and similar bands means that over the years I’ve read and heard more than I want to know about that era and that genre of music. I have to say, from what I know, Hand did a magnificent job of capturing the weird, insular feel of the music and the era.
Sometimes I love Elizabeth Hand (Generation Loss) and sometimes I hate her (Mortal Love), but she certainly has a gift for creating mood and setting, as this story shows well. Surreal, subtly menacing imagery lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished reading. Definitely one of my favorite stories by this author, and one of the best haunted house stories I’ve read in a long while.