Book Reviews

{Review} SALVAGE: A Ghost Story, Duncan Ralston

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{Review} SALVAGE:  A Ghost Story, Duncan RalstonSALVAGE: A Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston
Published by Shadow Work Publishing on May 30, 2016
Genres: Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Ghost, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 346
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Something is Lurking Under the Lake…

Struggling with the death of his sister, Owen Saddler becomes obsessed with the lake that claimed her life, and the ghost town submerged beneath the water.

Thirty years earlier, Peace Falls had been flooded to build a hydroelectric dam, and its ruins remain below the surface of Chapel Lake. The strange disappearance of the town Pastor, along with many of the parishioners, still haunts the citizens of Chapel Lake. But does the church haunt the lake itself? Is Owen really seeing ghosts… or has he descended into the depths of madness?

A disturbing story of depression, religious fanaticism and the afterlife, SALVAGE is the debut horror novel from Duncan Ralston (author of WOOM).

SALVAGE: A Ghost Story, by Duncan Ralston, is at its heart a supernatural mystery brought to life by unforgettable characters and the emotions that tie them all together–whether they “remember” them all, or not.

The journey truly begins when Lori Saddler–an experienced diver–is found drowned in the remote town of Chaple Lake. Her older, half-brother Owen immediately has his suspicions, as Lori must have had an “ulterior motive” for journeying to such a place that would otherwise hold no interest for her, and questions how someone with her level of expertise would have found death in such a careless fashion. It is their strong, emotional bond that propels Owen in his obsession to uncover his sister’s real motivation.

“. . . You spend your whole life tiptoeing around death, it won’t make it any easier when you lose someone you care about . . .”

This incredible tale takes the reader into realms never suspected. The area of Chapel Lake has bided its time, keeping its secrets close. Now, all of that is about to change when the past finally demands to be set free.

“This place is haunted. . . All of it. And it’s not just the church, it’s that Lake–. . . “

The characters in Salvage are multi-dimensional, and people that you could picture crossing on the streets. From Owen Saddler, with depression a constant companion for reasons even he remains unaware of, to Lori–his beloved younger sister who recognized his NEED for answers to his past long before Owen himself did–and all of the inhabitants of Chapel Lake, most of whom would rather leave the past buried, the emotions and desires of all become a part of the reader’s world.

“. . . Hope only exists to make the disappointments deeper . . . “

The sensation of death–both past and present–features heavily in this tale. What could evoke a stronger emotional attachment than this?

“. . . People die all the time . . . It’s a fact of life. You can’t let that make you afraid to live.”

Owen finds himself thrust out of his routine existence for perhaps the first time in all the years he can remember. From supernatural apparitions, to tales of the past long gone by, he will undergo a mental change, for better or for worse, as all he “thought” he knew is stripped to the very barest of facts.

“. . . every man has two selves, in constant battle with one another–the man who is, and the man he’s meant to be.”

It’s Owen’s turn to discover this lesson, and in doing so, possibly reshape both the past and the future. While this was my first read by author Duncan Ralston, the rich atmosphere and evocative characters are more than enough to insure that I will be reading more from him in the future.


About Duncan Ralston

Duncan Ralston was born in Toronto and spent his teens in small-town Canada. As a “grownup,” Duncan lives with his partner and their dog in Toronto, where he writes dark fiction about the things that disturb him. In addition to his twisted short stories found in GRISTLE & BONE, the anthologies EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS, WHAT GOES AROUND, DEATH BY CHOCOLATE, FLASH FEAR, and the charity anthologies DARK DESIGNS, BAH! HUMBUG!, VS: US vs UK HORROR, and THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS Vol. 1, he is the author of the novels SALVAGE, WILDFIRE, and WOOM, an extreme horror Black Cover book from Matt Shaw Publications.

“Mr. Ralston writes horror fiction that is unflinching and pulls no punches.” – Kit Power (author of GodBomb!), THE GINGER NUTS OF HORROR

“Duncan Ralston is writing honest stories about real people, pitched headlong into extraordinary situations. And that is what makes them so horrifying.” – Ken Preston (author of the Joe Coffin series), DIRGE MAGAZINE


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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