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Long Lankin

Review

Long Lankin

It’s 1958, and Cora and her four-year-old sister, Mimi, are being dumped on relatives yet again. But with their mom gone, their dad has no choice. So he arranges a ride for his daughters to travel a few hours outside of London to stay with their Great Aunt Ida. Cora isn’t thrilled to be there. The house is huge, cluttered and falling apart; the windows are all nailed shut; and there is a giant portrait of a man that creeps the sisters out. And it’s quite obvious that Ida doesn’t want them there either, especially Cora, who seems unable to follow the strict rules. But none of them have any choice; they are stuck with each other.

"Lindsey Barraclough is a newcomer to the publishing world, and with LONG LANKIN, she proves that she has the talent and imagination to play with the best.... Overall, LONG LANKIN is deliciously creepy and infinitely charming."

For Ida, having her two young nieces in her home is like reliving a nightmare. Years earlier, two sisters had stayed in her house with tragic results. Attempts to contact the girls’ father fail, so she must deal with the inevitable consequences. She warns them to stay away from the old church, orders Cora to always keep a sharp eye on Mimi, and punishes Cora for disobeying. But nothing seems to help; the past seems determined to repeat itself.

Cora and Mimi manage to find a bit of a bright side when they make friends with Roger and his brothers, who live down the road. The new friends explore the countryside and have a blast. They even slip down to the old church where they’ve been forbidden to go. But there’s something not quite right about the place, and they spot some strange figures lurking about. It peaks their curiosity and fears, so Cora and Roger begin to dig around for some answers. They stumble upon deeply buried secrets that spell out danger and death. Ida may not be glad to see them, but someone else is --- an evil creature by the name of Long Lankin, who’s been stealing away little children for generations.

Lindsey Barraclough is a newcomer to the publishing world, and with LONG LANKIN, she proves that she has the talent and imagination to play with the best. Her classical writing, joined with the setting of historical England, brings a feeling of some of the well-loved classics on the bookshelves. She has created wonderfully spirited characters who will lurk long after the cover is closed, and her vivid descriptions really bring the English countryside to life. She uses a unique tool in switching points of view among Cora, Roger and Aunt Ida, giving the story multiple and very different outlooks. The paranormal scenes are creepy but relatively tame, and the author’s sense of humor lightens the mood along the way, while the mystery intrigues and fascinates.

Overall, LONG LANKIN is deliciously creepy and infinitely charming.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on September 21, 2012

Long Lankin
by Lindsey Barraclough