#BookReview - Soot by Andrew Martin

York, 1799.

In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?

Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.

And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge be…

Book Review: The Many Lives of Samuel Beauchamp (a demon's story) by Michael Siemsen

Image courtesy of Fantome Publishing


"Samuel Beauchamp has been dead for twenty-seven years, but that hasn't stopped him from living..."

That one line was enough to convince me that this was a book I wanted to read despite not (yet) having read the prequel, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon's story).
 Whilst I will definitely be adding that book to my to read list now I don't feel it's at all necessary to have knowledge of it to thoroughly enjoy The Many Lives of Samuel Beauchamp. 
The book begins with Samuel using the body of Geoffrey Cuion, formerly a vicious thug but in recent years (since Samuel moved in) a law abiding citizen who works in a library. Through flashbacks we learn how Samuel reached this point, his death and the realisation that although his body is deceased his soul lives on and can stay alive by occupying the bodies of others. Samuel was - is - a good man and although the idea of him using others sounds shocking I quickly grew to like him and understood his motives. He's a teenager then a man desperate to be part of a family and to be loved. Over the years he's forced to move on for various reasons until he finally thinks he's settled with Geoffrey's body. He has a girlfriend, Elaine and a best friend, Stan.
It's at this point his life unravels as the story takes on a grittier tone. It's a dark and shocking story that surprised me several times and one character (not wanting to give too much away here!) is the stuff nightmares are made of, a brilliantly complex character. 
This is a scary, yet still thoughful read, it's no shock horror, more of a psychological thriller that takes a look at immortality and what it could drive a person...or a demon to do. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publishers, Fantome Publishing in return for my honest review. 

The Many Lives of Samuel Beauchamp will be published in November and is an 18+ read.

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