Mary Higgins Clark: Voices in the Coalbin (1989) A Ghost Story

This is not on my R.I.P. list but it suits just fine and I am in the mood to stray from the path. I felt like reading some Mary Higgins Clark after having visited The Book Whisperers’ Blog the other day. I remembered that I had a collection of her short stories (in German Träum süss, kleine Schwester). They  don’t exist in this combination in English but that does not matter as I think there are only two very goods ones in it and those are available as Audio Book. However That’s the Ticket does not classify for an entry in R.I.P. as it is neither fish nor fowl. No ghost story, no mystery, but it is OK.

Voices in the Coalbin is also in The Mammoth Book of 20th Century Ghost Stories (Danielle from A Work In Progress has reviewed some of them and will go on reviewing more for R.I.P.) as it is really an eery story, something  I did not expect from Mary Higgins Clark. It has all we like in her writing, great descriptions, detail, atmosphere. And it is spooky. It tells the story of a young couple, Mike and Laurie, who drive to a weekend house in the country that belonged to Mike’s grandmother. The trip is meant to help Laurie to recover from nightmares, depression and phobias. She has been seeing a psychiatrist who warned the husband to be very careful as she is fragile. She seems to be on the brink of remembering things that are linked to her own grandmother who mistreated and abused her emotionally as a child.  When they arrive at the holiday house  nothing is like he remembered it. It’s rather bleak and sad. When something happens that reminds Laurie of her childhood, she panics and then disappears. I am not revealing anything more. I already said it, it is not a mystery, it is really a ghost story and the end was creepy.

I loved to read it, cuddled up in bed, both cats close by and sipping a cup of tea. It is already quite cool over here, crows are sitting in the trees in front of the window and their cries sound already much more eery and lonelier than in summer…