"Knock And You Will See Me" Book Review
Written by Tony Jones
Published by Vermillion2One Press
Written by Andrew Cull
2017, 77 pages, Fiction
Released on December 1st 2017
Coming in at a smart 77 pages, Knock and You Will See Me is a perfectly rounded novella which I enjoyed tremendously, wholeheartedly recommending it to fans of the supernatural and old-fashioned ghost stories. Andrew Cull packs some decent scares into his clever tale of a grieving mother who receives messages from beyond the grave. For the reader, the plot is a convincing balancing act between a potentially unreliable narrator and the escalation of supernatural occurrences.
The story is told in the first person by Ellie Ray, who reveals in the opening pages she has always had a knack of knowing the impossible; an example she refers to is knowing the location of the body of a drowned little girl from her own childhood. This gift, or whatever it is, was never fully discussed with her family and deep-down Ellie realises her middle son Max has inherited her strange ability. The novella opens several months after Ellie has buried her father and continues to grieve with the help of her best friend Mr Jack Daniels, who helps her fight nightly bouts of loneliness and inner demons after her kids are in bed.
Andrew Cull delivers an outstanding opening line: “We buried Dad in the winter. It wasn’t until the spring that we heard from him again.” How Ellie hears from her dead father forms the nuts and bolts of this high-quality read. A few pages into the story she begins to find crumpled pieces of paper which initially have single words written on them: “WHY” and then in a second note “DID YOU LEAVE ME HERE” and she suspects the messages are coming from her dead father. When she eventually pieces them together, she realises they are in fact clues. To say much more of the plot would spoil it, but be prepared for some terrific scenes and set pieces as Ellie is driven to the brutal conclusion.
Ellie Ray is a great narrator and the author does a convincing job of painting the picture of a grieving single parent trying to raise three boys on her own whilst protecting her sons from something she and nobody will ever understand. When the frequency of the letters increases, and their content gets more disturbing with Ellie truly believing her father is still alive, you’ll have a hard job putting Knock and You Will See Me me down. The family interactions are painfully realistic and the sequences at the graveyard (and in the grave) are true nail-biters with powerful emotional punches tied to the pain of loved ones.
This is two hours of highly enjoyable reading and the pulsating final sequence is not what I was expecting, but it’s great to be taken in an unpredictable direction. Deep at the dark beating heart of this very cool novella, Andrew Cull asks his readers a tough question: if you had the chance to bring a loved one back, would you? Not a chance! If you’ve never read him before, there is no better place to start than Knock and You Will See Me.