The Isle

The IsleThe Isle by John C. Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John C. Foster has written an exceptional gothic mystery, heightened by an atmosphere of ancient New England fishing towns, Puritan folklore, storm-tossed seas, and the secrets that lay buried beneath it all. It’s the attention to detail that brings out THE ISLE’s astounding authenticity, from the eerie lobstermen — childhood rattles made of crucified lobster shells with a baby tooth inside — to the insular community traditions so confusing to outsiders, to modern-day characters still bearing names held over from Puritan days, such as Burden Ipswich, Increase Mather, Hatevil Nutter, and so many others. I won’t give away THE ISLE’s secrets — nor the Isle’s secrets — but the gruesome, compelling mystery at the heart of the novel is matched only by its horrific resolution. THE ISLE is Foster’s best work yet, and I hope it marks the start of an exciting new direction in his writing: New England gothic!

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