Please welcome Tom Hodden as my guest today. He is an author, trained in engineering, and currently living in Kent, UK. In his everyday life he works in a specialized role in transportation. He has a free book on author cafe and several books available on Amazon. I’ll leave links to his books and where you can stalk T.E Hodden.
Mother, by Colin Griffiths, reviewed by TE Hodden.
Often, when I review books, I am worried that by comparing them to films, comics, or other works I am somehow giving the impression that the text is a pale imitation of something more familiar. This is not so. I can think of no better compliment for a book than admitting it holds me rapt, and absorbs all of my attention, as completely as a good movie.
Colin has a habit of writing such books.
Dollshouse, his previous best, was a sultry, sexy, and spine tingling Hammer Horror movie, complete with ink dark morality, and candy bright sexual chemistry, tempered with moments of touching humanity, and quirky humour. The buxom, flirty, housekeeper had all the hallmarks of Ingrid Pitt pouting alluringly, while the supernatural menace drew ever closer.
So, for his pen to have turned to paying homage to a very different corner of British cinema, was a boon to me for the start. His writing style is ideally suited to the windswept and rain lashed London of Hitchcocks later efforts, and the seminal chiller Peeping Tom. This is homage to the grittier, psychological thrillers, that haunted British cinemas with earthy, uneasy tales. The kind of horror that brings the darkness into the kitchen, and lets it roam freely around average households.
This is a story of washed out detectives, soup kitchens, and poor souls trapped by their love for an abusive presence.
Our heroine is a young woman who has never had time to consider herself imprisoned. She works in a busy, and unforgiving office by day, for the DWP, and at night tends for her ailing and puritanical Mother. Dissuaded from the evils of drink, men, and “free living”, the closest she has come to a social life is volunteering for charities. Her single escape is to dream of her bucket list of modest fantasies (Swearing at Mother, or seeing Blackpool).
When a handsome man her own age spends a few nights volunteering she begins to question the rules imposed upon her by her draconic and scathing mother. Soon we find ourselves swept along in a battle of wills. The more determined our lass is to break her shackles, the more disturbing and teeth clenchingly, unflinchingly, horrific the reprisals.
That there are twists and turns that are predictable is hardly the point. These are firm nods to the influences and inspiration. They leave you off your guard for the sucker punch moments when something hits you from the left field.
The descriptions of the setting may be blunted and economical, but the characters are described with a lyrical and poetic touch. There are many moments of genuine tenderness and moving turns of phrase that endear us to the well rounded and fully formed people that inhabit this world. The central relationships could have been in a perfect romance story, if we were not watching them through a cracked mirror.
This brilliant book could both warm my heart, then chill my spine completely.
I hope you enjoyed Tom’s review today as much as I did. Follow the link to Mother by Colin Griffiths. Please look for T.E. Hoddens books on Amazon as well. Have a taste test of Hoddens writing at author cafe with a free download of The Strangers Road.
Have great reading weekend!
Links for T.E. Hodden: