F. G. Cottam: The Magdalena Curse

Being a horror fan in the twenty-first century isn’t easy, especially if you prefer the literary vein of horror over the more violent and gory variety. For those horror fans searching for the sort of atmospheric stories reminiscent of M. R. James and Algernon Blackwood, I would point you to F. G. Cottam’s The Magdalena Cruse.

Mark Hunter is a retired officer from a special ops unit of the British military who has moved to an isolated village in the Scottish Highlands after the tragic deaths of Mark’s wife and daughter. Mark’s hope to find some sort of peace for himself and his remaining child, Adam, a ten-year-old genius, are dashed when Adam begins to suffer from vivid violent dreams. When Mark asks Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft to help him save his son, the two of them must uncover nightmares from their own pasts in order to save Adam from an alien evil.

Integrating elements reminiscent of both H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror and F. Paul Wilson’s The Keep, The Magdalena Curse alternates action-packed incidents with scenes of atmospheric, slow-building horror. Cottam’s descriptions of beautiful yet icy and isolated landscapes makes this a true winter’s tale.

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