Book Review: The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb, by David John Griffin

Publisher:  Urbane Publications  |  Publication date: 1st November 2015  |  Edition: Paperback (Review Copy)

Alastair Stubb My Review

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb COVERThe wondrous prose of ‘The Unusual Possession’ is laced with some exceptionally unhinged moments. This eerie tale dares to venture into the unnerving descent of madness, where eccentricities run feverishly high.

Theodore Stubb of Muchmarsh believes people cannot fail to fall for his hypnotic charms and weaves his wicked way in the world without conscience. Little could anyone know that wielding such power will have consequences beyond their wildest imagination.

Following the tragedy surrounding her first born, Alastair, Theodore’s daughter-in-law has returned from The Grinding Sanatorium for the Delusional. During her illness, after falling on hard times, she and Theodore’s son, William, come to reside in this rather sprawling house. With its shadowy corners, cellar-dwelling-wine-o’clock butler and ample glass cases of invertebrates (their bodies skewered to boards so they can never leave again), the couple try to settle in as best they can.

There’s nothing worse than having to fall back on your father’s goodwill, particularly as it appears that Theodore doesn’t only like to peer at his special collections while he’s rattling around the big house…

With the aid of his enigmatic pocket watch, Theodore succeeds in taking full advantage of these new living arrangements. When his son learns of what occurred he launches a revenge-fuelled campaign of hate and the couple conspire to rid themselves of a monster who humiliates his family and his staff in the most deplorable manner.

Pregnant again, and still unstable, Eleanor is secretly resolute she is The Queen and can communicate with all the creepy-crawlies, so you can gather that things don’t go exactly to plan. Although she’s elated to have been given the gift of another child, the apparitions she witnesses threaten to break her already fragile mind.

At the age of thirteen, Eleanor’s second child begins to develop disturbing habits that mimic the old boar, Theodore. It’s stealthily done until the gap between our world and another is bridged, creating a puppet for a tortured soul to torment those who had the audacity to challenge him.

So there you have it. Here’s a virtual round of applause for the author, who has created an amazingly surreal world where devilry thrives – it’s a hauntingly good read.

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to Urbane Publications for providing a paperback copy of this book for review – a great read, as always.)

Alastair Stubb Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubbs’ manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim.

Theodore’s daughter-in-law Eleanor returned from the sanatorium two months before is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore.

A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity. It is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing. Do you dare meet the Stubbs?


Alastair Stubb Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

David John Griffin is a writer, graphic designer and app designer, and lives in a small town by the Thames in Kent, UK with his wife Susan and two dogs called Bullseye and Jimbo. He is currently working on the first draft of a third novel as well as writing short stories for a novel-length collection. His first novel published by Urbane Publications in October 2015 is called The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb. The second is a literary/psychological novel, entitled Infinite Rooms. He has independently-published a magical realism/paranormal novella called Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn. One of his short stories was shortlisted for The HG Wells Short Story competition 2012 and published in an anthology.