David Annandale is the author of Crown Fire, Kornukopia, and The Valedictorians, thrillers featuring rogue warrior Jen Blaylock. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies of horror fiction. He teaches literature and film at the University of Manitoba and lives in Winnipeg.
Sometimes the truth will make you bleed.
The skeptics think they know whatâ€™s going on at Gethsemane Hall. So do the religious. So do the spiritualists. Theyâ€™re all wrong. Richard Gray, grieving over the loss of his wife and daughter, learns that his ancestral home holds the secret of what lies beyond the grave. And all of a sudden, everybody wants a piece of Gethsemane Hall.
Louise Meacham wants in because a fellow CIA agent committed suicide there, and she has to put the ghost rumours to rest to get her career back. Anna Pertwee wants in because sheâ€™s determined to save the ghosts from the unbelievers and the debunkers. Patrick Hudson wants in because he has to save Grayâ€™s soul.
So Gray will let them all in, these people who think theyâ€™re coming for the truth. What they donâ€™t know is that the truth is coming for them.
â€śWith Gethsemane Hall, Winnipeg writer David Annadale has created that rarest of books: a genuinely chilling horror novel. And a fresh take on the hoary old haunted house novel, no less...Gethsemane Hall is a slowly tightening noose of a novel, the carefully measured tension beginning with the pedestrian stuff of bad dreams and mysterious sounds in the dark, and building steadily until finally exploding in an imaginative Grand Guignol release.â€ť
â€śGethsemane Hall is a cerebral sort of horror, briefly hinting at whatâ€™s to come with only visceral moments of violence and blood to punctuate the unsettling tone that hangs over each word. The tension spikes suddenly at appropriate, organic moments that never feel forced or tacked on out of necessityâ€¦Even as you read the text, there is no obvious solution to the mystery. This is not a predictable, expository story nor is it a simple mystery to unravel. The questions continue to build as the story goes on in conjunction with the growth, or deconstruction, of the characters and comes to what is simply a disturbingly satisfying conclusion. Like all good horror, Gethsemane Hall plays tricks on the mind as you read before it decides to let you walk away.â€ť
â€śFans of literary horror have been waiting for a haunted-house story this smart for a long time.â€ť
"As ghost hunters and debunkers explore the hall, braving cold spots, unearthly screams, and a shared nightmare, it is a hidden staircase that lures readers and characters both into the belly of the beast that is Gethsemane Hall. As they spiral down together, Annandale ascribes reptilian, malevolent presence to mere steps, leading ultimatley to the terror that is the real dark power beneath Gethsemane Hall".
â€śA creepy thriller with a devastating conclusion. Highly recommended.â€ť
â€śCompelling, a little frightening and amazingly inventive, a new and powerful take on the old haunted house storyâ€¦Annandale has created a house that lives and breathes and constantly shows new and terrifying facets of itself as the tension builds.â€ť
â€śAnnandale has taken the cliche and turned it into a high concept, and lived up to his ambition by nailing the execution. His characters are fully formed and carefully assembled into a complex puzzle of disparate convictions. Everyone in the Hall knows how the world works, even as the Hall itself works to unravel their ironclad truths. The story is deliberately paced, an inexorable crawl from ignorance to terrible enlightenment. Under Annandale's pen, nightfall is once again a time to be feared, while the safety of daylight is slowly bled away, until the familiar comfort of the sun is nothing but a cruel joke.â€ť