The Devil & The Loch Ard Gorge
By Leanbh Pearson
Seána McKinnon, daughter of a well-to-do London businessman and his wife, finds love in the arms of a lowly artist. Her parent’s disapproval of their relationship lays heavy on her heart until, borne of frustration, she makes a bargain with the Devil that will be with her for all her years.
When she flees Gravesend on the ill-fated Loch Ard, dark shadows sail with her.
Will Seána ever be free of the horrors that defile her past and haunt her future?
Praise for The Devil & the Loch Ard Gorge
Let me unburden myself, whisper my story to the wind, my final testament. The Devil can wait a little longer.
A short tale that defies you to put it down and can easily be read in one sitting. Pearson does a fantastic job with establishing the chilling setting from the first page (including the fantastic line above), and we follow the MC through a dreary and terrifying life as she resists the fate she herself set in motion.
What’s a little frustrating, perhaps due to its short length, is the MC’s actions, and while she can be admired for knowing what she wants and going after it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the beginning of Frozen…you know, where Elsa chides her sister for recklessly throwing herself at a man she hasn’t known for long? I suppose it’s easy to judge as a reader sitting comfortably on the outside of a toxic relationship, but I found it difficult to empathise with the character when her decision-making was characterised by reckless, impulsive choices that brought instant gratification.
Yet I thoroughly enjoyed this little read, transported for a moment to its gloomy London streets and the creaking beams of the Loch Ard as it sailed to Melbourne, ignorant of its fate…– K.B. Elijah
A quick little seafaring horror to shiver your timbers…shipwreck with the devil!– Clare E Rhoden