Friday, 4 November 2011

Mannequin Book Club: Shelbourne by Craig Phoenix

Now I know that this is essentially a fashion and beauty blog, but from time to time I like to share some other things with you. Recently I was sent 'Shelbourne' by Craig Phoenix to read, a relatively new author who seems to be well suited to writing thriller/mystery style novels.

Great writing, and great reading alike is not too dissimilar to a great meal; you go in hungry for something exciting and satisfying, lapping up every inch of it, taking in the sounds, the smells and the atmosphere. But do we often think about how much effort is put in behind the scenes? Do we consider the sweat pouring from the chef's brow and his keen eye for cutting perfectly sized pastries? This may be a bit of an outstretched metaphor, but when you find a book that makes you stop and think about the author and his or her hard work, it's pretty exciting.
Shelbourne by Craig Phoenix has a plot so thick and complex, that it's a wonder he managed to write it alone. I commend the author for juggling all aspects of the tale so incredibly well as her managed to retain a sense of reality and true emotion in this book.
The story speaks of Mark, a man angered by the events unfolding on his once beloved housing estate of Shelbourne, who comes to a spiritual medium named Beryl during one of her readings. As Beryl is on a tour promoting her latest book, she begins to find that Mark isn't going anywhere fast. He appears at each consecutive evening of the tour, rendering her weak and tired after channelling his spirit. Mark is full of anger and pain, but Beryl doesn't seem to be able to figure out why, she also knows that she feels a strong connection to him, and that no other spirit has had such a hold over her before. The question holds in your mind throughout the centre of the book, begging you to question, will Beryl find out what her connection with Mark is before it's too late?
It's a very tense plot that even reaches into the realms of Satanism, violence and anguish, making you question your morals and ask yourself, 'what would I do?' in the situations given to you on the pages. Words that really speak to you are truly a sign of a great author. Phoenix's descriptions are perfectly executed, with such realistic interpretations that you can almost smell the moth balls in the air at the community halls, and sense the fear in the room when Beryl Wallace is holding one of her 'evenings.'
Personally, It's not a book that would usually interest me if I saw it on a shelf, Drama and Thriller genres often aren't. But I do have to say that since reading Shelbourne, I believe that you should venture out of your comfort zone with reading. Try something new and exciting just like I did and you never know, you might surprise yourself.

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