Review Corner: Salvage by Duncan Ralston

Salvage by Duncan Ralston

Reviewed by Morgan K. Tanner

*Originally Published in Issue 7, Gruesome*


Ghosts. A man’s secret past. A creepy religious cult apparently wiped out in a mass suicide.

If you’re not ordering this book already then what’s wrong with you?

Salvage tells the story of Owen, a guy with lots of unanswered questions in his life. Why is he so afraid of water? Why does his mother hate religion so much? Why did his younger sister recently drown? Who was his father?

Thankfully, all these are eventually answered in this gripping horror novel that at times borders on being a thriller. But don’t worry, there are certainly enough scares and creepy moments to keep the terror-sense on high alert.

Following his sisters death, Owen travels to the place where she drowned, hoping to find answers. It seems her death was put down to simply drowning – an accident – while she was out diving one night. Did I mention the lake she drowned in hosts an entire town?

Yes, this place succumbed to an almost Biblical flood, right around the time Owen was a wee nipper. By travelling to this place he discovers truths about his life, and that of his mother’s.

Ordinarily in a story such as this, you’d get the locals acting all mysterious and suspicious at this stranger entering their town. But here, everyone seems kind of friendly. I suppose, this is Canada after all. But it’s the ghosts, the strange visions, and dreams that plague Owen in his quest for the truth.

It would be very spoiler-esque of me to say too much more here, as some things are best discovered for yourself. Owen’s a troubled guy but the grief he displays, even though it tries his very best to hide it, keeps you with him till the very end.

There was a great twist along the way; the story lulls you into thinking you’ve got things pretty much sorted, only to find you, and many of the characters, were way off.

Two scenes that stood out for me were the ‘enlightenment’ episode where the truth is explained, and the showdown on the water at the end; the tension here had me tapping that Kindle screen faster than ever before.

I’ve been residing in novella-town quite frequently recently, but this story really made me realise how much I miss novel-city.

Highly recommended for any fan of creepy horror, or any fan of a gripping story; which is, erm, most people I’d suspect!

It’s Available Now.



About Morgan K. Tanner

Morgan K Tanner is a writer, drummer, and golfist currently residing in the English countryside. The idyllic surroundings make it an ideal place to write, drum, and hide the bodies. The busy sound of the typewriter is perfect to drown out the hum of the antiquated torture equipment.

When he’s not writing or inflicting pain and suffering on his numerous victims, he indulges himself in all things horror and metal.

You can praise or indeed abuse him by visiting or find him on Twitter @morgantanner666.

His debut novella, An Army of Skin is available now.