The Haunting of Kraken Moor by Mark Bousquet. Book review

The Haunting of Kraken Moor by Mark Bousquet, Atomic Anxiety Press, p/b, £8.68 / Kindle, £2.38 (Amazon prices correct at time of writing), Website

Reviewed by Dave Brzeski

Written in the form of an ongoing journal, The Haunting of Kraken Moor is the story of Beatrice Sharper, daughter of a rich, Southern family in America in the 1860s, who runs away to make her own way in the world. She ends up in service, in an old castle in the east of England. The castle turns out to be… well haunted hardly begins to cover it! The castle is pretty much infested with demons, which would be bad enough, except the demons are afraid!

The book is very much a mash-up. Not only is it a classic gothic horror story, with a pulp adventure sensibility, but it has elements of steampunk mixed in, what with its electric pistols, etc. There is also some social commentary on the subject of slavery and racism. The author has intentionally left in corrected mistakes, to reflect the way it was written in Miss Sharper’s journal. I had some concerns that this might simply be an excuse to avoid editing the book properly, but it actually works very well, in that it shows Beatrice occasionally curbing the direction her narrative was going for reasons of propriety.

All in all, this is a fast, fun read, and I’m hoping Mark Bousquet will revisit at least some of the characters in the future.