Monday, December 13, 2010

Lisa Morton's "The Samhanach"

This Book Must Be Made into a Movie!

Lisa Morton's gift for pacing is so naturally displayed in this Halloween tale that you don't notice how quickly the suspense builds until your shoulders begin to hurt. 


Here's the publisher's plot synopsis:

The Samhanach by Lisa Morton
“On a Halloween night 300 years ago, something rose out of a Scottish bog to curse the McCafferty clan. Now, in 2010, single mother Merran McCafferty finds her suburban Halloween celebrations torn apart by the arrival of the Samhanach, an ancient trickster demon. When the Samhanach tries to steal Merran’s young daughter, Merran is forced to put aside reason and accept that magic is real, and bogies really do exist on Halloween night.”


In this deftly crafted short novel, Lisa Morton shows such mastery of pacing and tension that when you're through you'll really believe that she can alter your heartbeat.

Because of her internationally acknowledged expert status in Halloween lore, we expect the factual precision she delivers with regard to world superstition and legend, but her buildup of powerful tension through clever placement and presentation of culturally encoded symbolism is a marvelous surprise.  The horror a mother experiences when her child is abuducted is forcefully contrasted with that same mother's life and death struggle against a creature summoned by a man wo died before she was even born.  The intriguing psychological conflict is that her main character must first believe in the demon who has stolen her child in order to confront it.

"The Samhanach" begs to be made into a horror movie.  It's main character, Merran, is a woman that I so immediately liked and cared about that I unconsciously began selecting which actress could play her in the movie while I was still reading the story.  And the visuals of Merran's decent into the Otherworld are as startling as those suffered by Alice in "Through the Looking Glass," by Lewis Carroll.

This short novel can be read in a single setting, which I thought was great because, as another reviewer said, I didn't want to put it down until I'd read the whole story.  In fact, having read "The Samhanach," I'm heading to the bookstore to find another Lisa Morton novel to read.  When it comes to reading, I like to hang out with quality people.

For more information on Lisa Morton, visit her website:

To purchase "The Samhanach," please visit: Bad Moon Books

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Melissa said...

This sounds really good! I might have to add it to my books to read next year!

Love the idea of a book building tension but me being unaware of it until my shoulders are aching.

Rick said...

It's worth the read, Melissa!

Travis Cody said...

What a fantastic review! I don't care for scary stories, but the description of this book makes me interested enough to put it on my wish list to consider.

Thanks Rick!

Rick said...

That way you can say you read it before the movie came out, Travis!

Charles Gramlich said...

Oooh, this sounds awesome. gotta check it out.

Rick said...

You know those books you can tell the author had a good time writing? Well, Lisa had a fun time writing this, Charles!

Vesper said...

A great review, Rick! Thanks!
And I just love the cover!

Rick said...

Very cool book,Vesper and a very cool cover, I agree!

Demon Hunter said...

Sounds like an awesome book, Rick. Thanks for telling us about it. :-D

RaShelle said...

Rick, you have me scared just talking about it. I'm from Scottish ancestry, so anything that comes from there excites me anyway. Thanks for the info. =D

Rick said...

I you have the chance to read it, Demon Hunter, you won't be disappointed!

Rick said...

Hi Rachelle! I'm the same way about Southern ghost stories. Since I'm from the South, they seem all the scarier. Love your last blog posting, by the way.

Kathryn Magendie said...

That is one beautiful compelling cover art!

Rick said...

Isn't it, though, Kathyrn.