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Aristo's Family

Aristo's Family [Kindle Edition]

Raymond Nickford
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The first few chapters are atmospheric; intriguing. They made me want to keep reading. The beautifully observed characters and exotic setting have all the makings of a first class novel. --BARBARA ERSKINE - best selling author of Lady of Hay.

The promise of the early chapters is more than well-maintained. This novel is a real page-turner, worthy of comparison with the early John Fowles' The Magus, but distinctively Raymond Nickford. --ALLEN J. MILLINGTON SYNGE - author of Bowler Batsman Spy.

An atmospheric, vibrant, spooky page-turner that might easily become something of a cult. --REAY TANNAHILL - author of The Seventh Son.

Novelist - Allen Synge

The promise of the early chapters is more than well maintained. This novel is a real page turner, worthy of comparison with the early John Fowles', The Magus, but distinctively Raymond Nickford at the same time.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher:; 2nd Ed. edition (13 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00538HTQM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #191,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Raymond Nickford has a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University College of North Wales and has been a college lecturer in English Literature, both driving him to searching character studies, atmospheric mystery and suspense, with underlying romance and family/relationships.

Author interview:

Troubled souls; the outsider, the lonely, any driven to extremity, have been indispensable for his novels, on Amazon KINDLE and comprising:

"Aristo's Family,"
"Mister Kreasey's Demon,"
"Twists in the Tale,"
"A Child from the Wishing Well"
and his latest book

Of his novel based in Cyprus, "Aristo's Family", Barbara Erskine, best selling author of River of Destiny, has commented on the "beautifully observed characters, intriguing and atmospheric scenes and, above all, the suspense which made me want to read on".

Raymond's favourite film producer is Alfred Hitchcock, and he has been influenced by authors Patricia Highsmith, Ian McEwan, Ruth Rendell, D H Lawrence and - particularly - Daphne du Maurier whose mastery of mystery and suspense first sparked his interest in fiction with her "Rebecca".

He believes his teaching of English in colleges and as a private tutor has informed his new suspense A CHILD FROM THE WISHING WELL.

This features an eerie music tutor, her young pupil Rosie and Rosie's paranoid and inept father, Gerard, who nevertheless yearns to mean more to his daughter.

Can Gerard fight his mental illness to grow closer to his daughter, Rosie?

The book was selected for the Harper Collins Gold Star Award, May 2010.



"Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, the first scary movie I remember seeing was the 1965 Bette Davis movie, The Nanny. To this day, that movie has always stuck with me as one of the great psychological thrillers of all time. For me, A Child from the Wishing Well, is reminiscent of that movie."

CANDACE BOWEN EARLY - author of A Knight of Silence

"The story is both enjoyable and oddly chilling, all the more so for its apparent warmth.
The pleasantness of Ruth and her liveliness should seem gentle, grandmotherly and appealing, a sweet old lady one could adore, what seems kindly suddenly turns sinister, her upbeat excitability oddly macabre, her voice... a bird screeching... fingers down a blackboard.
Will Gerard realize what he feels is not just a symptom of his disease? And if not, will his wife Heather uncover the truth and save little Rosie?"

RAVEN CLARK - author of The Shadowsword Saga

"The author gives great voice to his characters, describing well their idiosyncrasies. A good story must either go deep or wide, and with Nickford's background in psychology he goes deep within the human condition. For some adults, the ability to relate to a child does not come naturally, and requires enormous if not awkward effort.
This is an often overlooked subject worth exploring" -

STEPHEN VALENTINE - author of Nobody Rides for Free

"A beautifully constructed scenario emerged.
The attic scene vividly describes the significance of the doll in the depth of the well. All the mystery and menace of the story coalesces here.
I was taken back years to the 1960s when I read a story by Saki entitled The Lumber Room. Mystery and menace are purely distilled in a distinctive writing style."

TONY BRADY - author of Scenes from an Examined Life

"Full of dark shadings and menace. I like the tenderness of the father's feelings."

A. R. TAYLOR - author of Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion

A Child from the Wishing Well and all other titles are currently available as ebooks on all readers for free sample or purchase complete online.

[samples on your PC are free when you download Amazon's free reader KindleForPC] - first click on "See all tags" below to find the list of titles. These include:

"TWISTS IN THE TALE" - a collection of mystery and suspense, ghosts stories and a novella romance.

"ARISTO'S FAMILY" - an eerie and poignant story about a child's need to belong while his archaeologist father is too preoccupied with his obsession to search for a family who, Aristo was told, had all been burnt beyond recognition in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

"MISTER KREASEY'S DEMON" - Can the paranoid teacher, Mr Kreasey, stop himself from destroying his student, Amy, who might have been the only person who could show him what love could be?

Raymond confesses to a passion for plump, docile tabbies and says he is moved by the music and life of the composer Edward Elgar, his interest leading him each year to a cottage in the Malvern Hills and to the Three Choirs Festival.

The author is currently working on another mystery and suspense, Prey to Her Madonna. Here, all he will say is that the intrigue moves between Madeira, an eerie French shrine, an English village and London.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this book is like being invited into Aristo’s Family, although to be part of ‘the family’ in the story might not be something anyone in their right mind should even think of. Still, he goes visiting ‘the family’, when on archaeological digs, speaking of the day when his son, Pavlos, will finally be ready to meet the family. The answer to how and why – since Aristo has no other living family besides his son ( his own family having all been murdered and burned beyond recognition in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus), will become apparent as you read on (I can’t give it all away!).
The insight into fifteen year old Pavlos’ life is both strange and horrifying – while the somewhat grotesque contents of ‘The Museum’ scares the wits out of me as much as it messes with Pavlos’ mind, even though these innocent (presumably) archaeological remains should be nothing more than that- remains. Not so in this story. Expect to want to hide under the covers, chanting ‘na-na-na-na’ to stop the images descending on you as you read.
At the beginning of the book, I found the way Papas (Aristo) spoke soothingly and slowly, repeating words until Pavlos was completely calm, akin to a mother soothing a child. Since Pavlos’ mother had long since returned to the UK, comforting herself with the content of her bottles (why, you may ask!), perhaps Papas was attempting to be both mother and father. Sorely misled (cleverly so, by the writer), as The Voice becomes more and more sinister.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts or real flesh and blood? 6 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition

As I live part of the time in Cyprus, I thought this novel would be most interesting and from almost the first page, I found the style and voice of the novel atmospheric - a sure way to keep the reader hooked.

From almost the first page, I found the style and voice of the novel atmospheric - a sure way to keep the reader hooked.

The story centres on a young Pavlos and his father Aristo; a museum curator and a Cyprian archaeologist with a burning obsession to connect with his family who were supposedly killed after the 1974 Turkish and Greek Cypriot war in Cyprus. The boy is controlled through nightly hypnotism and his father forces him to sit in the museum in the dead of night, to experience the visits from various people which he says are members of his past family.

The author, Raymond Nickford creates a psychological dialogue between father and son and the relationship mirrors our own daily fears during reality. But for all that, Aristo spends all his time worrying over his obsession and not with his son who is the one who really needs him.

I found Aristo's imaginary 'family' is shifty and disturbing. They lived in isolated huts in the Troodos mountains at night, forever frozen in a bygone age, which the boy Pavlos finds spine-chilling. During the hypnotic trances and whenever his son come out of them Aristo is distant, not just preoccupied, and almost to the point of control by the people he claims to have met up in the mountain dwellings. Pavlos makes the observation that they betray some strange ancient habits.

This story is almost a Greek myth as well as being deeply rooted in modern Cyprus. A parallel of old times with today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Psychological Read 24 Nov 2014
By The Bub
Format:Kindle Edition
Raymond Nickford is the master of suspense and creepiness and this one doesn’t disappoint. Aristo needs to belong to the family who were destroyed in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus while his adolescent son Pavlos needs his father to be there mentally in the here and now, rather than obsessing over long lost ancient ancestors. The deeper symbolism of the need to belong to family is the driving theme behind this novel, woven through with a chilling menace. Both father and son are trying to find and belong to their family: one lost in the past, the other fighting for closeness and affection in the present. There’s another smaller but nevertheless interesting Oedipal theme when Pavlos becomes involved with the middle-aged archaeologist Katherine and the subsequent ritual cleansing’. Pavlos’ seeking comfort in a mother figure is all too easily understood in the context of losing his mother to his father’s obsession.
A menacing psychological tale where past and present, reality and dreams, and good and evil often become blurred.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Eerie Story 30 Nov 2014
By annasee
Aristotle Stavrovouni, an archaeologist and curator of a museum, needs to trace his family, even though they have allegedly been torched and left unidentifiable during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. For Aristo his forebears are still very much alive while his son, Pavlos, is left to wonder about his family that his Greek 'lessons' are supposedly preparing him for. Pavlos is 'tutored' by his father who locks him in a basement with only a shaft of light and microphones and headsets, the sound hypnotising Pavlos and making him 'more receptive' to those 'lessons' and 'meeting his ancestors'. The 'props' all add to the creepy atmosphere: for instance the bolted studded iron doors, turning the museum into a formidable fortress. Indeed Pavlos is frightened to be left alone with the creepy ancient tools on every corner and eerie Cypriot ancestral masks looking at him. But what is The Voice? What is the truth behind Aristo's ancestry? And what is it they want with Pavlos? A spine-chilling novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and obsessive
A moving book about a teenage boy's need to feel he 'belongs', when his Greek Cypriot father is divorced by his English mother and the boy is left to live alone with a dad who... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Elle Samson
5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that will hold your attention until the very end!
I decided to read Aristo's Family whilst holidaying in Cyprus. The setting is fantastic and the novel is proof that if a writer asks a big enough question early on, then the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. G. Chittenden
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Literary Spellbinder
A few pages into this spellbinding novel by the amazing Raymond Nickford and I could not put it down. Read more
Published 6 months ago by barbara silkstone
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching story of love within a family
In his novel Aristo's Family, Raymond Nickford creates a psychological dialogue between a son and father, Pavlos and Aristo. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Suominen, Marjo
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, moving, some unforgettable characters.
When I first saw the title of this book, I thought the 'Aristo' meant it was going to be about the family of an 'aristocrat,' which didn't overly interest me, as I've not much time... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Will Finlay
4.0 out of 5 stars A good find
Given the unusual theme of this book I wasn't sure what to expect but after reading a sample, quite early in I felt I was living along with the strangely hypnotic Aristo, who is an... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Carolingian
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving but uplifting story of a broken Anglo-Greek family in Cyprus
Aristo's 'family' is furtive, creepy, occupying isolated dwellings in the Troodos mountains at night, uncannily out of tune with contemporary life - in fact, behaving just a bit... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Phillip Mason
4.0 out of 5 stars Greek and deep, with dry humour
The opening chapters offered no Big Bang sensation and yet, strangely, I was hooked early, partly by the dry humour in which the author dips Mr Spiropoulos, the education inspector... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Susanna Deakin
2.0 out of 5 stars A hard to get into tale.
I have started this book but just could not get into it at all. It seemed unite depressing at times rather dark. Not my kind of story. Read more
Published 22 months ago by chick
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