Title: Tortured Souls: The House on Wellfleet Bluffs | Authors: Linda Cadose, Julie A. Gerber, and M.M. Hudson| Pub. Date: 04/25/2016 | Pages: 124 | Genre: Haunted House Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Self-Purchased
Tortured Souls: The House on Wellfleet Bluffs
In some towns, the past is easily forgotten. Not in Wellfleet Bluffs. Lynne and Jason buy their dream house online and quickly move to the quaint little town. After unexplained events send them looking for answers, will they become a forgotten part of history or will they find the answers and help the ghosts of the past find peace?
Tortured Souls: The House on Wellfleet Bluffs Review
I was drawn to Tortured Souls because of the cover and the title. The cover is beautiful. It has an eerie, misty quality to it. Tortured Souls also sounded like it might be a decent haunted house read. The story itself, however, is all over the place. When I saw that it had multiple contributors it made a little more sense to me. Because that’s what it feels like. There are separate stories going on that never seem to quite gel together.
The characters aren’t bad. They don’t become much more than cardboard cut-outs but I honestly don’t think the plot could have sustained larger characters. They were a bit ‘cutesy’ for me but at the same time it was also kind of nice to read about a couple that actually appreciates each other. Their relationship oozed over into ridiculous occasionally. For instance, the wife freaks out because they have a fight. One fight. The dialogue is quite clunky. Contractions are rarely used so the conversations sound a bit unnatural. Their reactions to the ghosts flip around as well. Sometimes they’re terrified, sometimes they’re flip and are not always appropriate to the occasion. I have to wonder when it became ‘cute’ for a girl to drool food? At least twice she ‘adorably’ has strawberry juice on her chin and later syrup dribbles out of the corner of her mouth. I swear, I felt lie I was reading about a stereotypical anime kawaii girl.
The plot, frankly, was a mess. I had to suspend my belief pretty hard that someone would buy a house sight unseen to begin with but there were so many other coincidences and inconsistencies that after a while that became the least of the weird. The ghost’s intentions seem to go back and forth and all around. One minute it’s murderous another minute, apologetic. It was just all over the place. There seems to be a sub-plot about the neighbor that takes a left turn so hard that it seemed like they started with one idea and switched to another. The big reveal was pretty obvious but it was also led up to fairly well within the plot.
There was no real sense of place to Tortured Souls. It felt like it was supposed to be a small town. It just wasn’t described very well. I got no sense of the area they lived in. Nothing was described. It felt like the author wanted to get to ‘the good stuff’ so much that they didn’t want to spend time on setting the scene. For a haunted house that’s supposed to ‘unsettle’ the whole town there are absolutely no interactions that imply that at all. A lot of the scary scenes are very Hollywood Scary. Attacks in the tub, car accidents, steamy mirror writing and, of course, the obligatory ghost in the mirror. There’s nothing we haven’t seen on the big screen.
All in all, it’s very awkwardly written. Perhaps with a good editor to help them out it might be able to be made into a much better book. But as it is I can’t really recommend it. There are just too many inconsistencies and plot holes to make it a smooth read.