THE WAITING ROOM

Written by F.G. Cottam

Review written by Ron Ellis

Ron Ellis is a journalist and author of the Johnny Ace books


THE WAITING ROOM
Hodder & Stoughton
RRP: £17.99
Released: 24th June 2010
Hbk

In no way can this be called a crime novel. If it was a film, it would probably come into the horror category but, as a book, it might be said to be part of the rapidly growing number of supernatural tomes.

The plot is simple. Retired rock star buys a country estate for himself and his family. In the grounds is a derelict waiting room from the days a line ran through the land. He hears noises and enlists the aid of celebrity TV ghost hunter, Julian Creed, to track down the source. Creed is a fraud. He doesn’t really believe in the paranormal.

 Until he spends a night in the waiting room!

 Cottam writes in a style similar to Robert Goddard: an old fashioned, very English style. He has Goddard’s sense of suspense too and the book is certainly a serious page-turner. I must admit, however, the ending totally floored me.

 I was quite surprised to learn he launched the lad’s magazine, FHM, followed by Total Sport and Men’s Health. Strange. I would have had him down for more of an academic tan a magazine editor, although he has got a degree in history. He also grew up in my hometown of Southport but I never had the pleasure of meeting him. 

 The Waiting Room is his fourth book and it has made me curious to read the others. I feel sure we will hear a lot more from Mr Cottam but… crime writer?

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