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The Magdalena Curse

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  368 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
This title tells the story of a boy doomed by a prophecy and a father who will risk anything to save him. It is an epic confrontation between good and evil by the highly praised author of 'Dark Echo'.
Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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F.G.Cottam is becoming one of my new favorite authors. I enjoy his mix of paranormal, thriller and mysterious settings. Being an anglophile, the British Isle settings are a plus too. This outing the hint of horror was slightly elevated from the last two books but nowhere high enough to be off-putting.

I enjoy the author's combination of sometimes formal language and structure describing things and incidents that are truly other-worldly. I also found myself at times reading too quickly to find ou
John Wiltshire
Jul 01, 2016 John Wiltshire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm about 20% into this one and very glad I discovered this author with The Colony. Since then I've read The House of Lost Souls and The Memory of Trees, all of which I greatly enjoyed. This book is genuinely creepy - nothing like possessed kids, is there? They're scary enough normal if you ask me. I digress. There's an account of a Special Forces jungle op at the beginning of this novel which is about as accurate as I've ever come across in a novel. Having served a while in Belize, this rang ve ...more
Oct 20, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting concept, and an engaging read. I felt there were a lot of great threads here, but they never quite got properly tied together for me. Maybe i'm being dense, but I never quite felt like I "got" it. Who was Miss Hall really? What exactly happened with Miss Mallory? It was all just a little too obtuse for me.
May 22, 2017 tattooedreader13 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! A bit on the gruesome side, but a really good listen, very engaging and absorbing. I walked over 14 miles last week so that I could listen and fall deep into the world Cottam created. I was sad when it ended and I realized that I have now listened to all of his books on audible.
Jul 21, 2014 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf, hmmm
Don't get me wrong. I try to be fair when rating the books I read: if a book wasn't great, I look for redeeming features that made the experience a whole lot better. There are so many wonderful books out there, why waste your time on a story you just don't fall in love with?

I really enjoyed The House of Lost Souls and was eager to try another of F G Cottam's books. I wish I hadn't picked this one.

The story started out well, a group of soldiers cursed, and a very wicked witch with a grudge to bl
Ex-military man, Mark Hunter, has taken his ten year old son, Adam, to live in Scotland following the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter. The hope is that they will both recover from this bereavement to some extent, but events from the past disrupt these plans in a terrible way.

Adam Hunter is being tormented by dreams, during which he is heard to speak in ancient languages and to use voices other than his own. His father is frantic to find help for him and calls in the local doctor, Elizabe
Jun 17, 2010 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of F.G. Cottam's books I've read and enjoyed; his second, Dark Echo, ranks as one of my all-time favourites, and while The Magdalena Curse didn't quite live up to that, it was still a great read. Plot-wise and stylistically, it's similar to the author's previous novels, but this isn't really a problem for me as I love his writing and the resemblance means this book has the same good points as the others - it's tremendously atmospheric, fast-paced and exciting from start to fini ...more
Tracy Terry
Aug 08, 2016 Tracy Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A total 'scaredy cat' when it comes to 'horror novels'. I very nearly didn't get beyond chapter one as I found it so scary but I'm so glad I did for though eerie in places, I ultimately found The Magdalena Curse to be more chilling, more of a tale of the supernatural, than what I personally think of as a 'horror' story.

Only a star away from a 'It Was Amazing'/ 'I Loved It' rating, there was only one or two (possibly three) slight niggles that did ever so slightly mar my enjoyment.

A bit like in E
Bruce Draeger
Aug 13, 2010 Bruce Draeger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I work for an audio book publisher (AudioGO...formerly: BBC Audiobooks America), so naturally, I do most of my reading via audio books. I travel extensively and getting to listen and drive is great.

The Magdalena Curse was one of our August/2010 titles so I thought I would preview a few CDs to get a feel for the story and narrator, David Rintoul. Well, by the 2nd CD, I was hooked. I found myself lingering in the car to try to squeeze a few more minutes of the story before my next appointment.

I a
Remittance Girl
I listened to The Waiting Room by this author and really enjoyed it. The Magdalena Curse is not quite as well paced as The Waiting Room and I'm seeing some patterns in the author's style. That being said, it was an engaging and exciting story.

Cottam's got a wonderful talent for the fresh, uncliched premise. This book, like The Waiting Room, is a nice blend of the historical and the modern with a generous helping of the creepy supernatural thrown in, and the author is a satisfyingly thorough rese
Nov 15, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, fiction
Adam Hunter lives with his father, Mark, in the Scottish Highlands and is suffering from a curse placed on his father when things went extremely wrong years ago in Bolivia. Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft discovers Adam's bad dreams are the result of possession and the manifestation of the curse.
So we begin the effort to find the answer and eradicate the curse in the capable hands of F.G. Cottam, who is a master of atmospheric terror.
The question is which is stronger as magic meets magic. Is it the bl
Vicky cleveland
I liked this book, initially, but about half way through, that changed. It's a good story but I didn't find the writing particularly good and thought the modern setting a slightly odd choice. The main characters are one dimensional and cliched. We're told more than once for instance that the male lead, Mark, had "never known a moments fear in his life". Some of the dialogue was extremely stilted and jarred with the references to Jeremy Clarkson and Girls Aloud. For instance, the main character, ...more
May 21, 2014 Sean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Roll
Sep 03, 2011 Kelly Roll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
I found this as a book on tape. I had read one of Cottam's earlier books so I thought I'd give this one a try. I found it to be truly suspenseful and at times even frightened me. There were a couple of occasions where I just wanted to sit in my driveway and wait until the CD I was listening to finished. I had a few minor quibbles, but overall really enjoyed this book.
Jun 18, 2017 Pinkie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely LOVED this book. Well written and characters were believable and we'll thought out. A bit predictable at times but still worth the time.
Hylary Locsin
Apr 30, 2012 Hylary Locsin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Fifteen years earlier, Colonel Mark Hunter was a newlywed sent on a covert mission from his London home to the rainforests of Bolivia. Expecting to uncover and destroy a drug trafficking facility, what he and his comrades actually discovered in the jungle was something far more sinister. An evil sorceress protected by an army of undead soldiers murdered his fellow soldiers, and cursed Hunter, prom
Tamar Love
Jul 23, 2012 Tamar Love rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

The Magdalena Curse is the third book I've read from Cottam. I loved House of Lost Souls, but cared little for Dark Echo; Cottom's writing in the second book was a disappointing follow-up to the uniqueness and captivating storytelling of his first book. When I picked up The Magdalena Curse, I was warily hoping for a better read -- many authors have disappointing follow-ups to their first books, but snap back in their third. Unfortunately, The Magdalena Curse was even more disappointing than Dark
Jul 13, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes horror
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
It only takes a couple of visits to convince Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft that Adam Hunter is not just having nightmares - he is a child possessed. His father is desperate: adamant that his son's affliction is the result of a curse he incurred in the depths of the Amazon rainforest many years ago. Mark Hunter would do anything to protect his son Adam, but he knows that the roots of Adam's terror lie in Mark's own past, deep within the jungles of the Amazon.

Twelve years ago in Bolvia, Mark Hunter had
The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
Mar 11, 2012 The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror, British Mystery, Paranormal, Classic Mystery
Shelves: march-2012-reads
Another stunning tour de force from the accomplished author of “The House of Lost Souls” and “Dark Echo,” this novel philosophically examines the nature of evil in a fashion that will raise hackles and curl hair. More than a ghost story, more than a romance, more than a mystery, “The Magdalena Curse” is the kind of outstanding novel that should gain 12 stars out of 5! I cannot recommend this novel, or this author, highly enough.

Mark Hunter is a former British Special Forces operative, devoted to
Nov 17, 2014 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third novel I have read by F.G. Cottam and I have enjoyed them all. This one was about a young boy who is cursed by a sorceress when the boy's father was sent to Bolivia to put down a possible drug cartel base. But it turns out, the location was really a spot chosen as a showdown between two powerful sorceresses and by interrupting this conflict, one of them put a curse on the boy leaving him possessed by bad spirits and dreams. The father must find some way to get rid of the curse. ...more
Jul 04, 2011 JackieB rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I've enjoyed the other books by F.G. Cottam which I have read (The House of Lost Souls and The Waiting Room) but I could not read this one. I think the problem with it as that as far as I was concerned, he tried to sustain suspense for too long. For example, he wrote about a problem affecting a young boy. I (and probably every other reader of the book) had worked out essentially what the situation was long before the characters did. So I went from being intruiged by the situation to being a litt ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy books set in the British Isles, and for many chapters, this book held my interest, although it's not the type of book I usually read...the violence, other-worldliness, curses, etc. I have always been interested, though, in the struggle between good and evil in the world and enjoyed reading Madeleine L'Engle's children's series and The Dark is RIsing series as well as Harry Potter when I was still teaching.

This book disappointed, though. The male protagonist was too arrogant, too sure of
Jun 06, 2013 Irenic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hunter's son Adam was cursed 10 years ago, before the boy was born, by a malevolent being. Now Adam is having horrible dreams, causing Hunter to seek professional help in the form of Dr. Elizabeth. OK, spoiler alert coming...Elizabeth's resemblance to Hunter's deceased wife is not a coincidence. And she's not just a psychologist..End spoiler alert.

This might be Cottam's best novel in this genre, and I wonder why it took me so long to get around to reading it. I almost always like his protagonist
Vicki G
Feb 06, 2013 Vicki G rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would have liked it better if it had stayed the way it started out but it changed in the middle, went off on a tangent and never returned to the way it began.
I've noticed more writers than I ever wanted to observe doing that same damn thing. They start the book like a story and everything goes along just fine until, somewhere in the middle, they decide it's not longer going to be a story but a polemic essay on some facet of life with which they have a beef. It feels disgustingly manipulative,
Dec 31, 2012 Bett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore all of FG's books and this one is no exception. They differ to ordinary ghost or horror stories in many ways, namely the warmth and depth of the characterization, the terrific attention to period detail and subtle turn of phrase that can truly chill the blood. This particular story introduces us to some wonderful wickedness lurking beneath a polished and poised demeanor, which is often the case in his stories. As always I'm left wanting more and ready to read the next one.
Listened to th
Jan 07, 2012 Rita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one had a good premise but it just didn't connect with me. No man is that macho without being a complete ass. And no teen is that affected without being whiny. So right away I didn't believe the main characters, and if you don't believe in the saintly dad and son what is the point of the book? I usually like British authors just because I like to read for insight into the culture. This one did give me a view into the current British teen fads and had a mention of my favorite UK cultural ico ...more
Having already read (and not particularly fond of) 'House of Lost Souls' I decided to give this writer another shot. At first I was pleasantly surprised. This story made much more sense and was interesting. The only unfortunate thing was the ending. I won't give it away but it seemed as if there was such a build up and then- it fizzled. It was entirely too predictable for me. It almost felt as if it were tacked on because he ran out of ideas and it left me disappointed. Not a bad read but it's d ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one thrilling and scary story. A little boy, Adam Hunter, is suffering from terrible nightmares caused by a curse by Mrs. Mallory, a very bad witch. Adam's father Mark, and his doctor Elizabeth Bancroft are both willing to go to any extreme to save the boy. I got so caught up in this story that I had dreams about it. F. G. Cottam is a terrific author who not only builds wonderful characters, but he knows how to set a cold and eerie mood. This was my third book by him that I have read, a ...more
This book presented the curious situation to me that I've faced in a long, long time. The more of the book I read, the more I was completely convinced that I had read this book before. I even went to the GR list of my own books to see if I'd listed it, but unless it was published as an e-book under a different name, I didn't have it on my list of books. Strange, particularly as I knew precisely what was going to happen before I finished the book.

It's a good read, some suspense, but fairly predic
Aug 22, 2011 Margee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the Ben-and-Jerry's-esque combination of black ops, 17th century witchcraft, the anti-Christ, the healing arts, poetry, Nazis, and maple-butter popcorn really puts a book over for you, don't miss this 'literary action- thriller' by British horror artist Cottam. When the beloved son of a Scottish military officer begins to show signs of demonic possession, Dad engages a local doctor with a professional lineage all her own. From the forests of Bolivia to the Scottish highlands, the suspense nev ...more
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Reading is a cheap and totally effective way of being transported to another world. The same is true of writing. Mundane concerns only afflict your characters if you decide you want them to.
University was where I first thought seriously about fiction; hearing about Hemingway's iceberg theory and Eliot's objective correlative and having the luxury of time to ponder on the mechanics of the novel.
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