Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review: 'The Fifth Floor' by E.H. James

Canadian author E.H. James is a prolific writer of short stories – stories that test the imagination and call forth ghost like thoughts of the dark world about which we know very little. James is part of that conundrum as there is no biographical information on this gifted author as though that is meant to be part of the mysteries presented. We learn that she has read and researched in the areas of parapsychology and metaphysics, for the past 40 years, and has woven the real and imaginary together into stories of the strange and bizarre. The fruits of her labor show!

A hospital, haunted of course, and a new night watchman bring us into these halls of terror. ‘He drew back the first sheet. Lying on the gurney was a girl of about sixteen, tracks running up each of her arms. “Dear God.” Goosebumps rose on his arms, and he carefully placed the sheet back over her head. He lifted the next covering. This gurney held a man. His body had been horribly mangled, his features now indistinguishable. “Oh, God!” Jeremy let the sheet drop, as he turned away. Closing his eyes, he gathered himself.’

Short but cogent, THE FIFTH FLOOR has many surprises. The plot outline hints a bit of the fright – ‘Jeremy Brogan thought being a night watchman at a hospital would be easy, wandering long, dark, empty halls late at night. It might even get kind of boring, after a while…Except Jeremy is working at St. Michael’s; the most haunted hospital in the country. It’s a good thing Jeremy doesn’t believe in ghosts. Everything he sees and hears must have some kind of explanation, right? That he had to patrol the fifth floor was bad enough, but never in his wildest dreams did Jeremy think he would end up in the basement. Now all he wants is out…only the hospital, and its inhabitants, have other plans.’

And for the shock to work, read it yourself. Only eighteen pages but that is plenty of time for the goose bumps to rise. James knows this territory well. Grady Harp, November 17
This book is free to borrow from Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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