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The Waiting Room by [Cottam, F. G.]
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The Waiting Room Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Human passions are always at the root of Cottam's hauntings, and his skill is to tease out a complex tapestry of explanation, somethings stretching over decades. (Financial Times on THE WAITING ROOM)

Another spine-chilling treat from F G Cottam . . . this book is so well written, and with such rich vocabulary, that it transports you to the place it is talking about and you get the sensation that you are watching the action with your own eyes . . . I can't recommend it to you highly enough (eurocrime.co.uk on THE WAITING ROOM)

'The writing is rich and vivid and every page is a treat for the imagination.' (The Bookbag)

'A treasure trove of dark dreams and sinister socery.' (The Times on THE MAGDALENA CURSE)

F.G. Cottam has crafted a superb and tautly told tale . . . A perfect ghost story (The Times on DARK ECHO)

'F.G. Cottam's complex, tautly atmospheric thriller delivers plenty of chills . . . the perfect dark winter night yarn' (Daily Mail on DARK ECHO)

'Beautifully written and highly engaging' (Daily Mirror on DARK ECHO)

A terrifying encounter with manifest evil . . . chilling novel . . . His adrenaline-charged prose is drawn tight with suspense (James Urquhart, Financial Times on THE HOUSE OF LOST SOULS)

'Full of interest and not a little tension . . . (Cottam) knows a lot more about good writing than his supposedly more upmarket competitors' (Guardian on DARK ECHO)

Book Description

A chilling ghost story full of suspense and mystery from the author of THE MAGDALENA CURSE.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1083 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (24 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Y3BLM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,050 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love his work. I particularly loved this one as it was about an old railway station. It would be perfect, had it not been identical to a story from an old episode of Sapphire and Steel. An evil WW1 soldier. haunting a disused railway station. The one from which he was sent off to war. Back from the dead and gathering souls, right down to the flowers that kept reappearing in the station and the time slips. Nothing to say we cannot be inspired by something we've seen somewhere at sometime, maybe he'd watched the episode and forgotten but the story stayed with him. Maybe it's a coincidence and he hasn't seen Sapphire and Steel at all. If it is, it's an uncanny one. Read it anyway it's brilliant and if you really enjoy it treat yourself to the Sapphire and Steele DVD. True some of the stories have aged, but not this one, it's as creepy as hell.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with the first review, particularly about the dialogue which seems contrived a little. However, this being the fourth Cottam novel I have read (see my review on The Dark Echo), I must say that the positives easily outweigh any negatives. What the writer does best is create a sense of true horror at the sense of evil and malign menace that seems to emerge from both the waiting room and the ghost of the boy soldier who haunts it; he leads us back to the senseless carnage and ensuing madness of the Great War and its losses. Evil can come out of the folly of past actions, it seems. Not as good as Dark Echo but it's up there with that class of writing.
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Format: Paperback
The retired rock star, Martin Stride, lives a blissful happy family life with his beautiful wife and children on their sprawling rural estate. On the very edge of their grounds stands the waiting room, an old run down building...all that remains of Shale Point Station a reminder of a long since vanished railway line that runs thought the property.

Everything is perfect ...until the sounds and smells of a steam train and the refrain of men singing a WW 1 song drift through the night followed by the sightings of a malevolent figure near the waiting room begin to terrify the family.

The family turn to the famous TV psychic investigator Adam Creed for help and he agrees to investigate the waiting room.

What they don't know is that Adam Creed is a fraud and a charlatan and what Creed doesn't know is that his first night spent in the waiting room will change his life for ever.

Creed calls in his hard working researcher, and long suffering ex girlfriend Elena Coyle for her help in unravelling the mystery. As Creed and Elena dig deeper into the history of the waiting room, they are drawn into a terrible story from the past that has its origins in the slaughter on the fields of France during WW1 and now threatens the present.

This genuinely creepy story is heavy on atmosphere especially in the scenes that take place out of doors where the threat and dread are somehow amplified by the idyllic setting of the sprawling country estate. Being in the waiting room itself is a unsettling, claustrophobic almost dreamy experience both for the characters and the reader.

"There is something intrinsically sinister about old waiting rooms. They are repositories of hopes and fears and anxieties with nowhere to go because their owners have moved on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fake ghost-hunter, Creed, finds himself up against a real haunting. So far, so unoriginal but still a good basis for a ghost story. But then the ghost turns out to be rather more complex than that. This is the kind of story that really draws me. Without spoilering, I can say that FG Cottam dares to take on one of the more popular 'monsters' of the horror genre and come up with his own take on it, and for the most part, it works.

There are some genuine scares here and a fine pace, but I have some reservations.

1. The characterisations are poor. All the characters talk in the same rather formal manner, even a working-class ex-pop star. FG Cottam has so much going for him as a writer, it's a shame he has a dead ear for dialogue. Also, his habit of 'telling' rather than 'showing' the feelings of his characters mean we as readers feel one removed from them. When two of them suddenly declare their love for each other, it feels like a bolt from nowhere. Cottam's problem with creating characters is amply demonstrated in Creed's musing that he has never come across a more 'vain, pompous and irresolute' person than Bruno Absalom - well, that is not how BA comes across in Cottam's creation of him, I'm afraid. Stride's wife is particularly thin as a character. She seems to be there simply to be beautiful and report problems with the kids.

Also, what is with the obsession with everyone's looks? The four main (living) characters seem to be forever commenting on, brooding on or noting how terribly good-looking each of the others is. As it's of no consequence to the story, it's simply annoying.

2. Artistic license is stretched rather too much.
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