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The Lamplighters, by Frazer Lee
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Published: 2011
Review Posted: 9/1/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

The Lamplighters, by Frazer Lee

Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths

Have you read this book?

The Lamplighters, by Frazer Lee is the third book by Samhain Publishing that I have read and so far it is my favorite. Lee takes the reader into a unique landscape and story line. As I have said in other reviews, in the world of modern horror it is difficult to take a new twist or find an environment that has not been explored, but Lee pulls it off with this novel.

The story hinges around Marla. Marla is a down and out young woman living in London. Her life is crashing to the point where she will do anything to get a new start. This new start, at least she hopes, comes in the form of a care taking job off the coast of Greece. An island build for the richest of the rich, needs people to maintain their luxury estates. These 'Lamplighters' get to party and lounge in giant mansions in the middle of a beautiful island and all they are required to do is clean a few rooms each day and keep the lights burning. It should be a pretty sweet deal and the perfect job...

But Marla quickly learns that things are odder than one would have expected. First off, a few guards might be normal, but this place not only has its own strict rule system, but a group of men that appear paramilitary. Also, the bodies of animals are being found and Marla hears rumors of missing people. Things become more complicated when the other Lamplighters get involved and she even meets an old lighthouse keeper than has been on the island long enough to not only know many of its secrets, but to have some secrets of his own.

This novel has a strong plot and the suspense takes you on a ride. The supernatural factor although there, starts slow and doesn't become overwhelming—at least at first. This would be a good novel for people that like horror with a plot that does push the envelope, but also lets you try to figure out the mystery yourself. It leaves you guessing, but gives you the chance to make the guess.

Downsides of this novel include that it does become a gore fest. Some people like this sort of thing and Lee does it well, maybe too well. The level of gore reaches some serious heights and this comes from a guy that has read hundreds of horror novels. But, even though he does the gore well, I was enjoying the more subtle aspects of the buildup, so when the gore-storm hit, I felt like I had returned to a more normal horror fair. This is what kept me from giving this novel a much higher grade.

However, in a world with a lot of tired horror plots and sometimes over the top stereotypes, Lamplighters takes us down a new path. Lee deserves a lot of credit for creating an environment where the reader becomes invested in the storyline and hurries to discover what Marla's final fate will be. There are a lot of unexpected surprises and the plot turns quickly often. This novel would be a fine addition to any horror lover's bookshelf.
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