LITTLE SISTER DEATH
The Beale Witch Project
released 15 October 224 pages | Hardback/ Ebook
Author William Gay
Publisher Faber& Faber
The late William Gay didn’t publish any fiction until he was close to 60. In just over a decade, he put out three bleak southern gothic novels and several short story collections. When he passed away in 2012 that appeared to be that for his slim body of work. Then this ghost story was unearthed...
It’s the early ’ 80s, and David Binder and his family move out to rural Tennessee. He’s working on a novel inspired by the brutal events that happened at the isolated Beale farm and so, clearly a glutton for punishment, he decides to buy it. It’s not long before strange things start to happen around the house, and a sinister figure is spotted watching the family...
There’s a familiarity to ghost stories that can rob them of their scares. That’s not the case here. The book’s brevity only adds to the sustained sense of dread, and it positively thrums with a dark, witchy power. Gay has a knack for quietly eerie imagery and his prose feels as ancient and evil as the barbarous acts that began this haunting. Little Sister Death lands somewhere between Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy and The Blair Witch Project – and is as insidious and terrifying as that sounds. Will Salmon