The Wise Friend, by Ramsey Campbell

As I did not complete this book, I will not offer a star rating, out of fairness for the author!

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ramsey Campbell, and Flame Tree Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Exploring a new author in Ramsey Campbell, I thought to see how much of a horror story this book provided to me. In a story that focuses on the artwork of a woman who subsequently took her life, the reader learns a little more about what might have influenced her. Patrick Semple knows that many thought his aunt was different and her art led her to many odd places. He has memories from his youth about visiting her and trying to understand her thoughts and way of being. Years later, when he son, Roy, discovers some of the books about her work, he becomes highly interested. Patrick tries to rebuff him, but the teenage will not relent. Opening this could really pose to be a problem. However, this is as far as I made it, since the book lost my interest up to this point. I leave it to others to forge onwards and determined the ‘horror’ nature of the piece, as the narrative and story up to this point turned out to be horrific enough for me.

I respect that many people have their own opinions about books and what makes a good story. That being said, at a time when things are so chaotic outside with the COVID-19 pandemic, I look for books that will hold my attention and keep me wanting to turn the pages. Surely, some will love Campbell’s writing and the way he tells a story, but I could not find myself enthralled enough to stick it out. I will be eager to read reviews of those who complete the book and offer something enlightening. Perhaps I will return to this novel down the road, as I find that I can sometimes enjoy a book under a different circumstances. That being said, I am not holding my breath.

Kudos, Mr. Campbell for trying to lure me in. I may be in the minority, but wanted to voice my opinions frankly.

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