Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Giveaway: Clan by David P. Elliott

“Suddenly Elliot shuddered, just as he had when they first arrived at the cottage, but this time the temperature drop was accompanied by a strong feeling of nausea and a feeling that something was clenching at his heart. His vision was blurred and he felt faint. Suddenly his body was soaked, as he broke out in a cold sweat, reminiscent of his night terrors. Sweat ran from his hairline into his eyes and through his blurred vision he saw a hooded face looking at him from one of the windows.”

If you enjoy Scottish history, with a good dose of the paranormal, David P. Elliot’s Clan revels in both. The author is skilled at depicting and manipulating myriad emotions, with his vivid descriptions and powerful characterizations.

As Clan opens, a great medieval battle unfolds between two giants, William Wallace, of Braveheart fame, and William de Soulis, lord of the ancient Hermitage Castle. Both men survive and while Wallace goes on to the fate history has recorded, de Soulis’s life takes him in a different, and far more dangerous, direction. Centuries later in 2007, David Elliot, three times divorced and now jobless, contemplates his dreary past and the bleak outlook for the future. His daughter Kate convinces him to take a much-needed vacation with her husband Simon and their son Thomas, in the Newcastleton area, once home to generations of his clan, the Elliots. It was also the scene of hundreds of years of border strife between the English and Scots, as both sides fought for the Scottish throne.

Unexpected events and meetings with strange characters convince David that his journey is more than a simple getaway, but an opportunity to deal with the demons of his past, bring meaning to his dissolute life, and discover the power of love and family. Though separated by centuries, his fate is on a direct collision course with the will of William de Soulis, who reaches from the dark recesses of the past to reclaim his birthright and the destiny his enemies have kept from him.

Clan met all my expectations for a good read, but I was truly impressed at how well the author handled the various scenes, juxtaposed from differing points of view. In addition to Elliot and his family, the author also introduces us to Andrea Dettori, the shady leader of the Soulis Foundation; Thomas Truman, a seemingly harmless old man, with ties to Elliot’s past, and other engaging characters. I was engrossed throughout the chapters and had to pace myself and just enjoy the story as it unfolded.

I’m not one to scare easily, but the paranormal scenes especially spooked me, and I felt no shame in confiding to the author that I refused to read the book at night. In addition to the violent, soulless villains, the author introduces some of the most depraved and vicious creatures to ever terrorize on the page, called Red Caps. Whenever one appeared, I expected a bloody mess and the author always delivered.

Clan is currently available in several countries and has been featured at the Hawick Museum and the Liddesdale Heritage Centre in the Scots Borders.


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