“There are moments when even to the sober eye of reason, the world of our sad humanity may assume the semblance of Hell. ” ― Edgar Allan Poe
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages/Word Count: 89 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: When Garland Heatherford is named heir to his uncle’s vast fortune, he isn’t pleased by the honor, and with good reason. The last five heirs all met with most untimely deaths. – four of them from drowning. Although loathe to accept his inheritance, Garland nevertheless travels to the “cursed” town of Bath, North Carolina, to meet his aged uncle, hoping to avoid the fate of his predecessors. But Garland has something in his favor the other heirs didn’t: his lover, Geoffrey Wainwright.
The sight of the decaying hulk of Heatherford House dismays both men, yet they have little choice but to enter a world where a miasma of horror lies beneath a veneer of breeding, and madness and death seem to lurk in every corner. Ruling over all is the presence of sinister Roderick Heatherford, who has managed to outlive five young, healthy heirs despite his allegedly poor health. When an unexpected illness strikes Garland and he begins to sleepwalk, lured from bed by singing only he can hear, Geoffrey resolves to protect Garland from every danger – even if it costs him his own life.
Review: Call of the Night Singers is brought to life in Geoffrey’s POV, and starts off with the Professors Geoffrey Wainwright and Garland Heatherford meeting at a poetry reading. From there, Geoffrey tells the reader how they in love. For four years, during a time when being gay was unacceptable, they manage to convince faculty members and friends alike that their relationship was nothing more than good friends who lived together.
In the summer of 1899, Geoffrey and Garland are both looking forward to taking a semester sabbatical to travel to Greece and other parts of the Middle East, when Garland receives a letter naming him heir to his Uncle Roderick’s estates. The only clause in the arrangement is that Garland needs to travel to Bath, North Carolina, in order to set up the claim to his inheritance. As the blurb mentions, Garland has his suspicions about this inheritance, since he knows the outcomes of the previous heirs. But, the lure of one day being rich enough to travel wherever they wish draws them to accept the offer.
So, upon their arrival at Heatherford House, Garland and Geoffrey soon learn from Uncle Roderick that the lawyer has been delayed indefinitely, but that they are more than welcome to stay at the manor. It doesn’t take long before Garland becomes ill, and as each night passes, Garland’s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre as he sleeps.
Something outside by the river seems to be calling to him…
I found this story had enough heebie-jeebies that it wasn’t boring, but it’s more of a mood read. In other words, one of those that are best read during a dark stormy night…when you’re all by yourself, because you definitely don’t want anyone sneaking up on you while reading this one. Nothing like mixing mytholgy with a little horror to get your blood pumping!
I’m giving this one a 4 Star rating and recommending it to those who like things that go bump in the night.