Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Last Testament of Chrighton Smythe by Gavin Gardiner

Having read this author’s FOR RYE recently, when he offered me the chance to read this novella, I said yes and here we are. When I opened the beautifully wrapped package, I found this letter, a book mark and the novella.

Turns out Mr. Smythe can see how and when people will die. He doesn’t even have to touch them, just be near them and he knows. Because of this curse, he often wears headphones and gloves. He also tries to keep his eyes focused on the rooftops so he doesn’t accidentally see the death of a passerby. His mother keeps a short leash on his activities, but out of necessity she often has to leave him alone so she can support the family. The day comes when she can no longer work or support anyone, and then it all falls on Crighton’s shoulders. Will he be able to take care of himself and his mother? What will become of his curse? You’ll have to read this to find out!

“How odd to know the exact time and manner of everyone’s death but your own.”

This is a novella of psychological horror, but there are some nasty bits of body horror here as well. The writing itself is well done, but there were a few area where I wasn’t quite clear as to what was happening. Such is the way with dead narrators, eh?

The twists and turns, the creepy relationship between Crighton and his mom, and the weirdness of just about every character here kept me reading, but I wasn’t all the way invested. I’m not quite sure why, but there it is. I never felt all that connected to Crighton, other than feeling sorry for him.

This was a 3.5/5 star book for me, but I rounded it up to 4 stars here on Goodreads, (and on my site), where half stars do not exist. I think Gavin Gardiner is a good guy and a good author. I’m interested in seeing where he goes next!

Thank you to the author for this paperback in exchange for my honest review. This is it!

The Last Testament of Crighton Smythe Book Cover The Last Testament of Crighton Smythe
Gavin Gardiner
Horror, Dark Fiction
Burton Mayers Books
10/22/2021
Paperback
103
Author

Crighton Smythe could see how everyone was going to die – except himself.

A social outcast who relied on his mother to keep him, Crighton had to use his ‘knack’ to his advantage when Mrs Smythe took ill and financial pressures began to mount. But as his visions started to increase in intensity, and his hatred of the city around him began pushing him to his limit, he found himself wondering how much more he could take.

Then he died.

In his own words, let Crighton Smythe tell you the story of how he perished. Where is he now?

Discover for yourself.

THE LAST TESTAMENT OF CRIGHTON SMYTHE is the shocking and gruesome novella by Scottish horror scribe Gavin Gardiner, author of the bestselling psychological nightmare, FOR RYE.

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