As the practices at Papas late-night museum staff meetings unfold themselves to Pavlos, and he wonders at what it is that his archaeologist father brings back in polythene bags from his excavations, the boy is led deeper into a sinister confrontation with those unquiet souls who loom from ancient times on Cyprus in what Papas calls his family. There is a poignant sub-plot to this novel as Aristo's obsessive need to trace and belong to his family, even though he was told they were all burnt and left unidentifiable during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has estranged his English wife, and is gradually distancing his only child, while in turn, Pavlos has an increasing need to trust that he belongs to the father who once made time for him. A strong blend of eeriness, suspense and the poignancy of lives which could be yours when driven to extremity. The writing, with its acute observation of character and vivid descriptive passages about Aristo's private museum and the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, has an individual tautness and nervous energy that carries the reader on. This as other titles by Raymond Nickford, together with his collected stories,Twists in the Tale, and his most recent novel A Child from the Wishing Well, to follow in Kindle in August, comprise a new series of psychological suspense, each balancing the macabre with a strong, poignant theme centering around characters whose lives are driven to extremity and yet each book having a strong and satisfying resolution. Haunted Books
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.
Troubled souls; the outsider, the lonely, any driven to extremity, have been indispensable for his novels, on Amazon KINDLE and comprising:
"Mister Kreasey's Demon,"
"Twists in the Tale,"
"A Child from the Wishing Well"
and his latest book
"CUPBOARD OF SKELETONS"
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.