Review: Widow’s Point by Richard Chizmar & Billy Chizmar

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis

“This is a bad place. I don’t think people are meant to live here.”

Longtime residents of Harper’s Cove believe that something is wrong with the Widow’s Point Lighthouse. Some say it’s cursed. Others claim it’s haunted.

Originally built in 1838, three workers were killed during the lighthouse’s construction, including one who mysteriously plunged to his death from the catwalk. That tragic accident was never explained, and it was just the beginning of the terror. In the decades that followed, nearly two dozen additional deaths occurred in or around the lighthouse including cold-blooded murder, suicide, unexplained accidents and disappearances, the slaughter of an entire family, and the inexplicable death of a Hollywood starlet who was filming a movie on the grounds.

The lighthouse was finally shuttered tight in 1988 and a security fence was erected around the property. No one has been inside since.

Until tonight.

Thomas Livingston is the acclaimed author of thirteen books about the supernatural and this evening he will enter the Widow’s Point Lighthouse, searching for material for his next bestseller. He will be locked inside for the weekend with no way of contacting the outside world. And although no human has stepped foot inside the structure in nearly three decades, Livingston will not be alone.

In this remarkable collaboration, father and son writing team, Richard and Billy Chizmar, combine forces to tell a chilling ghost story that will make you think twice about what is waiting for you in the dark. This novella is a much-expanded version of the short story of the same title.

Review

This is going to be a fairly short review since Widow’s Point is a quick read and clocks in at only around 156 pages. I actually went through it via audiobook, so it was an even quicker once-through as I’m at 2.0x now on most books… I have a freaking problem, you guys.

This is my 3rd novella of Chizmar’s, having thoroughly enjoyed Gwendy’s Button Box, a fantastic novella that he teamed up with the one and only Stephen King to write, and then falling mostly flat on my face during my readthrough of his upcoming novella, The Girl on the Porch. So to say that I have somewhat mixed feelings about the author’s works is an understatement. The one thing I do know is that Chizmar can write; that much is obvious.

Good news is: I really enjoyed Widow’s Point, and I am actually glad I went through it via Audible. The novella is written as a collection of video recordings (which end up becoming audio-only recordings due to the camera’s malfunction upon entrance into the lighthouse) that begin as fairly standard stories of the lighthouse’s past: murders, suicides, disappearances, etc… until things start to, well, unravel. Our protagonist, himself, begins to break down as the nights begin to fall, items he has brought with him begin to disappear, and strange things go bump in the night. The climax of the novella is one of the best I have seen in horror lately and kudos to the author for making me keep the lights on to polish this one off.

A fantastically creepy and unsettling read, this is one for all you fans of ghost and haunted house stories. And if you do end up picking up the ebook, I definitely recommend Whispersyncing the audiobook on Audible and listening to Chet Williams’ narration for this one as it gives this ghostly tale a more immersive experience.

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