It only takes a couple of visits to convince Dr Elizabeth Bancroft that Adam Hunter is not just having bad dreams. He's a child possessed.His father is desperate: adamant that his son's affliction is the result of a curse he incurred in the depths of the Amazon, where a badly misguided military operation ended in a terrifying and macabre encounter. There he met two women - one more bad than good, who placed the curse - and the other more good than bad, with whom any hope of saving his son resides.
Mark Hunter leaves the Scottish Highlands to beg help from the mysterious woman, leaving his son in the care of Elizabeth - who is about to discover there are equally dark secrets on their own doorstep.
And in her blood...
©2009 F.G. Cottam (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
If you are a completist and want to hear all of Cottam's work, this not a bad story. This is one of Cottam's earlier novels and, in later novels, he has a learned to omit great chunks of narrative that bog-down the narrative. I suspect that if Cottam had tackled this story later, he'd have made a leaner story and limited much of the military expedition stuff, for example. There is a good second strand to the story that I hadn't expected but liked very much - I'm being vague to avoid revealing anything.
I tried this book because I enjoyed "the Waiting Room" immensely. This was not quite as good and I was a little irritated at some of the military "assumptions" (I nit-pick!) but once it got going, it did take my attention. David Rintoul is a brilliant narrator, picking voices up and giving it just the right atmospheric touch at the right times. He, I think, brings the "extra touch" to this book. The suspense kept up right to the end, and even though it stretches the imagination in many areas, it seems believable. And the description of the boy's room could have been applied to my son's room at his age - right down to the books on the shelf!
Once again, F G Cottam has come up with a fantastic ghost story with a gripping plot and believable characters, those that are more good than bad and those that are more bad than good, to paraphrase Cottam from the book.
"Good narration of a kind of silly book"
The plot is so unbelievable and the book is so overwritten that I wasn't sure I could finish it. I did finish cause I wanted to know what happened, but it was overall a head-shaking book that I really couldn't recommend.
The narration was good.
If you love books about curses, witches, and superstition, then you might be able to overlook this book's main flaw which is its plot.
"Unevenly Paced but Engaging"
I listened to The Waiting Room by this author and really enjoyed it. The Magdalena Curse is not quite as well paced as The Waiting Room and I'm seeing some patterns in the author's style. That being said, it was an engaging and exciting story.
Cottam's got a wonderful talent for the fresh, uncliched premise. This book, like The Waiting Room, is a nice blend of the historical and the modern with a generous helping of the creepy supernatural thrown in, and the author is a satisfyingly thorough researcher, so the historical elements sit well in the story.
Again, his main protagonist is ex-SAS with a penchant for poetry. His lead female character has the same beautiful, capable, hidden-paranormal-talent trope as well. That's not a bad combination, but it does mean that I felt a little like I was reading a book in a series. That being said, his secondary characters are always nicely rounded.
My biggest problem with this book was that the showdown came a little late and was over quite quickly. I think he could have drawn out the final conflict a little longer. It felt like he was in a bit of a hurry to end the novel.
The narration by David Rintoul was excellent and very well suited to the story.
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