Let me start by saying this: if you haven’t heard of Duncan Ralston yet, go look the man up now. Go ahead….I’ll wait……..Now read anything by him……Are you back and sufficiently creeped out? Good. Now let’s get to our book.
Salvage is Duncan’s debut novel. He has some awesome short stories out there as well. The story “Baby Teeth”is featured at the end of Salvage, and it was an entirely disturbing and delightful read, but his novel is even more disturbingly delightful!
A Brief Synopsis:
The story starts with a young Owen and Lori Saddler playing on a beach. Owen sees a strange man floating on the water in the distance. Only his sister Lori believes that he saw the strange ghost.
We flash forward to an adult Owen who learns Lori has died while scuba diving in a lake. The lake is man made and a result of flooding the valley, leaving the small town of Peace Falls beneath the water. Owen, upon learning that his sister was researching the lake, decides to head there to get some closure.
Now, I don’t want to give up too much information because I really want you to read it (yes it is that good!). But we find out there are secrets in the small town surrounding the lake as well as secrets buried within the lake. Owen conducts more research into the people of Chapel Lake and discovers not everything is at it seems, and the ghosts may not the be the scariest thing there. And the ending does not disappoint.
Rating: Worth sacrificing the little sleep you already get to read!
Ralston did not just create a spooky ghost story here. He created a world you can connect to and relate to. While on the surface this book has some creepy ghosts and some intense scenes, there are also some themes that relate to what it is to be human. We all have skeletons in the closet in one way or another and many of us spend our lives searching for some form of forgiveness. I myself am not religious, and I can still relate to the story line and the ideas of the afterlife within that story line.
The town of Chapel Lake and the flooded town of Peace Falls could be anywhere and the people could be your next door neighbors. We all know the crazy people in the neighborhood, the religious ones, the old man with all the advice, etc. I felt I could relate to Owen, who is introverted and yet determined. I felt like I could relate to those having demons in their closets, and those who chose to ignore some of the crazy things happening in their town.
Salvage brings out a lot of emotions in the reader. You truly feel involved and you feel for the characters. It’s creepy in that it is ghost story on the surface, but also in that some people will go to strange and terrifying lengths to do what they think is right (whether it’s actually right or not), and what people will do when emotion gets the better of them.
I highly recommend Salvage to anyone looking for a good ghost story. It was excellent. I don’t think I will ever look at my neighbors the same again, so thanks for that Duncan 😉
What did you think of the book? Did you also stay up all night reading it? Leave a comment and let me know!
You can find Duncan’s book on Amazon using the link below. Hope you enjoy!