Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Dark Fantasy
LGBTQ+ Category: gay, lesbian
Reviewers: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild; Maryann
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About The Book
A young man named Tom Daniels is kidnapped by a local family and is dropped on Loughby Island in an attempt to ‘clean up their streets’.
When the family that dropped Tom off is slaughtered by a werewolf-like creature, he soon finds himself banding together with a small group of the island’s residents in a fight for their lives against an otherworldly monster.
The only thing that really puts this into my purview is that Selwyn, one of the central characters, is a gay man who lost his husband a few years previously. Other than that, this is a skillfully written and fairly relentless horror story.
It begins when an unpleasant man and his two unpleasant adult children bring an “undesirable” to Loughby Island, something they have a habit of doing.
This, however, is not the plot. What happens to these three people next is the plot, and I don’t want to reveal too much.
What happens to them then proceeds to happen to a lot of other people on the idyllic, Irish coastal island of Loughby. It is a small, cozy kind of place, where everyone knows everybody else, and most people have a “live and let live” view of the world. The rather chilling point is that, when something bad appears suddenly on an idyllic island, the island becomes a trap.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, and I pursued my reading because—as a good horror story must have—there is suspense built into the narrative. Even when I thought I might have hit my horror limit, the need to see how it turned out kept me turning the pages.
It is not a long book and none of the characters get a lot of time on the page; but we know who they are, why they’re on Loughby Island, and what they mean to each other.
The author provides an afterword that explains his particular motivation for this tale, and as I suspected, it’s bound metaphorically to the mundane world in which we all struggle right now. The horror is not gratuitous, but purposeful. It’s a scary story that makes you think, even as you shudder.
Joe Atkins is on his own hateful mission to keep Kent free of those he feels didn’t belong. He also has his two children, Robbie and Laura, believing in his mission of hate. They’ve kidnapped a man, and have taken him to Loughby Island, where all the other bleeding hearts live. After dragging the man out of the boat and walking him to a path, Joe removes the sack from his head.
That just isn’t enough, so Joe places a cloth over his face, and the man falls to the ground. Thinking how exciting it was dumping someone off again on Loughby, Joe and his kids head back to their boat. But Joe senses that something is off.
Tom comes back to his senses in the dim light of the moon and dark forest when a hand touches his shoulder. He meets Selwyn Bonner. When Tom enquires about the three who brought him there, Selwyn gives him a run down about where he is. Tom’s surprised that Selwyn wants to help him, and they stop in at the Kestrel Crown, where they meet up with Superintendent Robert Cole. The people of Loughby seem pretty friendly, so Tom decides to accept Selwyn’s offer to say with him.
Tom meets some of the Constables: Jenny Gill, Larry Flanagan, Barnes and Ghosh. He also gets t know some others who live on the island: Dr. Goldblatt, Maggie Baker and Pat Thorne, even the missing Dougie Walter – but not under pleasant circumstances.
Doyle brings a gritty, gory werewolf tale to the page with The Beast of Loughby. He doesn’t hold back with his explicit descriptions of the horrid damage done by the werewolf. He offers a new take on mythology from various novels or movies on how someone can become a werewolf, and how to destroy one. It also made me realize that I watch too many horror movies where the characters that are likable get picked off one by one. Doyle keeps you in suspense – he had me thinking no one would be left by the time I got to the last chapter. Besides the terror and suspense, there’s the feeling of desperation from the characters, as they try to figure out how to escape the creature.
The story also has a serious side to it – what is truly more frightening? The werewolf, or the prejudice and hate that is projected by human beings and their beliefs that are passed down to their children?
The Beast of Loughby put me in mind of another werewolf tale, Stephen King’s novella Cycle of the Werewolf that was made into a movie called “Silver Bullet.” Especially the part where some of the townspeople go into the swamp to hunt down the werewolf, which of course was a big mistake for many of them.
The author also provides an enlightening overview of the creation of The Beast of Loughby at the end of the book: “Staying Off the Path,” “Werewolf Lore,” “Creating a Monster,” and “A Final Word.” I was surprised to see that Doyle mentioned “Monster Squad.” I thought I was the only one who had seen that movie, and more than once. I also loved that the 1941 classic movie “The Wolfman” with Lon Chaney Jr. got a mention. I implore everyone to read the author’s “Final Word,” as it holds a very important message.
I was surprised to see that Doyle mentioned “Monster Squad.” I thought I was the only one who had seen that movie, and more than once. I also loved that the 1941 classic movie “The Wolfman” with Lon Chaney Jr. got a mention.
The Beast of Loughby is a quick and terrifying read, filled with non-stop suspense.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.
I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.
My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!
As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.
My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.
I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.
But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.
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