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Dark Echo

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  389 ratings  ·  68 reviews
She is a seductive ship: a sailing yacht built for an American playboy. Yet her history is full of fatal accidents and three of Dark Echo's owners met tragic, violent deaths. Now she has been rebuilt, crossing the Atlantic with new owners. Only the truth about Harry Spalding, the man who built her, can save them from the same fate.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 1st 2008 (first published November 20th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,258)
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My first impressions of this book weren't entirely favourable, due to the fact that, initially, it seemed so similar to Cottam's debut The House of Lost Souls; substitute a haunted boat for a haunted house, and the premise is basically identical. But once I started reading, all my reservations were dispelled. This is Lost Souls, but better - more confidently written, with stronger tone, pace, characterisation and narrative voice; superbly chilling, fantastically atmospheric and absolutely compel ...more
Kelly McCoy
Dark Echo surprised me in a good way. I wasn’t sure what to expect because stories about haunted ships tend to be filled with cheap thrills and ridiculous characters. But this is a solid story with fantastically written characters and settings. The Dark Echo is a sailing boat purchased by Martin Stannard’s father. The family duo plan to sail her across the Atlantic but the boat’s sinister past has Martin worried. The boat was built for Harry Spalding, a WWI veteran, and his name raises questions ...more
Apr 22, 2011 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of ghost stories, thrillers
Very enjoyable thriller/ghost story involving a cursed yacht with ties to an apparently cursed man who performed questionable deeds during WWI. Lots of researching by one of the primary characters who turns out to be a wonderfully strong heroine.

Not recommended for the faint of heart. There are some sections where the dread piles on thickly and I felt the need not to read late at night. But then I rushed through to the end, needing to know the story's resolution.

As a postscript: I forgot to ment
Cottam rises to the occasion again. There are strong similarities between this novel and the first of his that I read - The House Of Lost Souls. I felt that this one worked a lot better plotwise and the flow and pacing was much stronger than in his debut work, though I do think I like the storyline of the first one better.

I love the way Cottam handles the intermingling of historical figures with his modern day hauntings - something that I appreciated even more after reading the heavy-handed Sha
With laborious and wordy prose which sucks the excitement out of all the chapters, as well as some truly awful dialogue, exposition and foreshadowing, this haunted boat story doesn’t have that much to recommend it. In fact by the time the characters board the boat, so much has been dragged up about its horrible past, that it’s amazing any of them will go within a hundred foot of it – and yet still they do.

To be fair though, I did like the character of demonic jazz-age rogue Harry Spalding.

Hylary Locsin
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Magnus Stannard, a tenacious businessman, has made his career on unusual moves that have proved successful, resulting in a large fortune and a great deal of power. His only son, Martin, has failed to live up to this shining example of entrepreneurialism, and has always believed his father's feelings towards him to be those of disappointment. When Magnus acquires a vintage yacht called the Dark Ech
Webbweaver Reviews
This story is about a possessed boat, and the father and son duo who intend to sail her. Magnus Stannard is a rich and powerful business man by the time he buys a dilapidated boat called Dark Echo. He had seen it in a book as a child, and to the then poor boy, it represented greatness and wealth and freedom. Magnus wants to restore the enchanting boat and sail her on a trans-Atlantic route to America with his only son, Martin. This is to be his retirement.
But Martin gets an uneasy feeling about

I was taken by Dark Echo right from the very first page. It was unputdownable.

The story was told from the perspective of Martin Stannard. He accompanied his father, Magnus to buy a boat for his retirement plan. The boat was the famous Dark Echo, once belonged to Harry Spalding. It didn't take long though before they noticed there was more to the boat. There were the unexplained accidents that befell the workers who tried to restore the boat, its enigmatic first owner, and the boat's own mysterio
Martin Belcher
F.G.Cottam never fails to entertain, I loved Dark Echo a truly creepy ghost story set on and around a boat called Dark Echo which has a truly horrific past, previously it's owners have been beset by tragedy and it's original builder, Harry Spalding is a man of hidden depths and his story is indelibly stained on the boats wooden planks.
Magnus Stannard a retired businessman buys the Dark Echo at auction and entices his son, Martin to sail the Atlantic with him. What begins as a simple restoration
Jo Ann ☃
This novel had alot of good creepiness factors going for it. I personally thought it could have been worth 4 Stars, but everytime the story started to get interesting one of the characters would do or say something awkward and it would destroy the moment for me. I also didn't think the ending was all that great.

(view spoiler)
Two feisty heroines in different eras, an atmospheric post-WW1 setting and a villain who’s a mash-up of Gatsby and Voldemort makes this the best FG Cottam book I’ve read so far. About a year ago I swore I would never read another book by FG Cottam again. I’d just read Brodmaw Bay and loved everything about it except the ending, which I felt destroyed my enjoyment of the book. In some ways it’s a great ending and I admire the author for daring to go in that direction with the plot, but it just wa ...more
The cover art is hauntingly beautiful and the mix of cursive font next to the simple font works perfectly (yes, I'm a geek, I notice things like this).

The characters are well-defined. Martin has always lived in the shadow of his successful, adventurous father Magnus. Suzanne seems very intelligent and has a natural inquisitive nature which lends itself well to her skill as a researcher. She also bears a striking resemblance to a lady named Jane Boyte who becomes a part of the mystery later in th
Gayle Noble
Dec 09, 2013 Gayle Noble rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Gayle by: Archaeology, History, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Forensics, Depeche Mode, Supernatural (the TV series), Reading, Academic Study, Playing Tomb Raider games
Shelves: horror-ghost
This is the third book I have read by this author and I find them incredibly frustrating. The author is good at building up a story with tension and promise of a cracking ending or plot twist coming up and then...nothing. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book but found the ending extremely weak and a real disappointment.
Tamar Love
I am a huge fan of House of Lost Souls, so I was eager to read his second book, Dark Echo. Unfortunately, although readable, his "sophomore" book was, well, sophomorically written.

I agree with one of the other reviewers that the plot wasn't particularly innovative: haunted boat, deals with the devil, madness and murder. That wasn't a problem for me. If handled effectively, it doesn't matter if the road is familiar -- I like the journey, if the writing is first-rate. In Dark Echo, it is not.

The c
There's a lot happening in 'Dark Echo'... ghosts, apparitions, hauntings, ritual killings, Satanic worship, Faustian bargain etc. There are some good moments of horror but the story starts gathering momentum and a sense of urgency only when Suzanne gets Jane Boyte's account of Spalding.
Cottam handles the parts that deal with Suzanne's search for the truth very well. She is obviously the main protagonist. However, I wish that Cottam had made more of the character of Martin and his experience aboa
The story is told from the perspective of Martin Stannard, whose wealthy father Magnus has bought and restored the troubled Dark Echo. From the start of its restoration, the Dark Echo is beset by accidents and troubling signs that she is no ordinary ship. Martin's girlfriend, the beautiful Suzanne who works for the BBC as a researcher, is afraid of what she turns up of the ship's history and its enigmatic first owner, the 1920s playboy and war veteran Harry Spalding. Suzanne fears that Spalding ...more
I accidentally took a break from this book (forced by my own forgetfulness when I left it behind), but actually ended up liking the book more post-break than before. Martin’s narrative - particularly in the beginning of the novel - with its overload of quotidian detail, had a tedious start. But, Cottam did manage to give the book a sort of timeless, old-fashioned feel with the writing style which did suit the characters well. The WWI connection added an interesting layer to what would otherwise ...more
Julie Bozza
Another book where I appreciated the writing and the evocation of time and place, but really disliked the story.

The main pov character Martin is sympathetic, and I really liked him; he is one of those reliable and apparently 'ordinary' men, who everyone underestimates, but who turns out to be rather heroic in a loyal, stalwart kind of way. I like such characters, and would like to see more of them in novels! I also liked Suzanne, who is a clever enough woman to appreciate him, and brave and reso
I have read one of his books before and really enjoyed it so when I saw this in the library I knew I had to get it.

Essentially it is a ghost story that revolves around an old cursed ship which has been restored. I loved the mix of history with modern day and as it was set in the 1920's it really appealed to me. The story develops nicely and has some twists and turns, a few of those I think are underdeveloped and could have gone a lot further. The characters are believable and well developed to t
Apr 14, 2014 Ceri rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Dark Echo- FG Cottam
After giving up on The Summoning, I didn't have high hopes for FG Cottam but this was vastly better. That isn't saying much because I still didn't love this. A promising premise of a cursed/haunted yacht, a strong villain and an early sense of foreboding are let down by a plot that while unravelling a mystery that's never really mysterious, also never builds to any real climax. Well written and interesting, but ultimately never lives up to its promises.
♥ Sandi
This was the story of a boat ~~ named the Dark Echo ~~ that had been restored - but restored for one particular reason. The original owner had been a playboy, a braggert, a war hero, a murderer, but a man whos legacy lived on. The man who restored the boat wanted a connection to its original owner, for one particular purpose.

If I could divide this book into fourths I would say I liked the 2nd and 3rd sections. It took too long to get into the meat of the story and then became redundant in the s
Liza Ferguson
This is only available as an e-book which was a little disappointing, but truly worth the read. It started a lot like Cottam's other books, but ended as my favorite of his stories. Black magic, a cursed/possessed ship, murder, ghosts, and past and present collide: what is not to like?
Ian Mapp
This started off OK for me. Deeply atmospheric - A rich businessman buys a dillapdiated old schooner with a view to restoring it and sailing across the atlantic. The story is told from his sons view point. It becomes clear that all is not well with the boat and it is haunted by Harry Spalding - a WWI playboy vet. The tension is layered on and through the sons girlfriend, we have links with Michael Collins and the premise that she is re-incarnated.

It all plods along in a spooky way and nice links
Natasha Beemon
I enjoyed this reading. The intertwined history, mystery, and suspense was perfect for my taste. Those attributes overshadowed some of the gore, which I tend to stay away from. It was well written with frequent surprises. Great summer read!
Dan Bullock
This is my favorite of his horror novels thus far. The well developed characters loom large as he shifts narratives from the past to the present. Cottam is well versed in English literature and incorporates bits of history along with the arts and music from the time periods discussed. He truly leads you on a journey and does that thing he does so well; the immersion in the novel is such that you frequently get surprised by the moments of horror that spring up, and as with any of his books, those ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
A slow start, a fantastic build-up in atmosphere and then a hurried let-down of an ending.

Cottam writes his male and female protagonists expertly, he uses a few well-chosen, well-paced phrases and he builds a decent sense of menace.

He missed a few opportunities. The one that springs to mind is (view spoiler). Why that was shown as a consequence rather than as a set-piece, I've no idea. It would have been one of the highligh
another good ghost story from this author. It wasn't my favourite but it was good
I enjoyed this unusual ghost story very much. I thought the characters were very well developed and the story really kept my attention. As others have said, this is not your usual ghost story but a story that really delves into the history of an evil group of devil worshipers who use human sacrifice to gain power. The plot was really a classic battle between good and evil and maintained a high level of intensity. The background of the story relating to Michael Collins and Gatsby-like characters ...more
The beginning of this book (and by that, I think I just mean the first chapter) is very boring because there are so many words used for no reason. However, the story does pick up and I thought it was much better than The House of Lost Souls, although the two books are eerily similar in their themes.
Overall, it was an okay read but I doubt I'll be reading any more by this author. At least it has a nice cover illustration.
Les Wilson
A good ghost story. This is my second time of reading and still enjoyed it.
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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.
More about F.G. Cottam...
The House of Lost Souls The Waiting Room The Colony The Magdalena Curse Brodmaw Bay

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