The Magdalena Curse
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The Magdalena Curse

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  248 ratings  ·  45 reviews
David Hunter has nothing left now but his ten year old son Adam - a boy whose nightmares are closer to demonic possession than to dreams. The the curse by a black magician in a remote part of South America fifteen years ago is becoming a terrifying reality. His hope rise when he locates the sorceress, disguised now as a rich American woman living in the Alps. What he does...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton (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...more
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
Bruce Draeger
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...more
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
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
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.
Tamar Love

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...more
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
Hylary Locsin
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...more
Jul 17, 2013 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
Mar 14, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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...more
Vicki G
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,...more
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...more
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
Kelly Flanagan

This was a good book, physically larger than I prefer, with larger than usual print. But it was well written, and F.G. has snagged my interest for his other books.
The narration is superb, I found myself able to picture the scenes in the book from as much detail as Stephen King writes, but without Kings tendency to overdetail things until you trip over it stunned out of the story. Cottam paints an deeply moving picture that endears you to his characters and pushes you to root for them in their...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...more
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
Another well written and highly enjoyable story that kept me gripped to the end.
Mark Hunter's son is the victim of a terrible curse. The result of a military mission over a decade ago, the curse could mean the end for Adam Hunter if his father can't figure out how to undo what's been done.

Cottam is great at putting together creepy, atmospheric horror stories. The end seemed abrupt and simple for such a well-developed story, though.
Sarah Hartley
I am currently reading this book. I agree with the other reviews I've's not the sort of genre I would normally read but so far it seems like one of those books you can't put down or forget about for long. I will be checking out the other books by this author.
Alison Forde
Supernatural suspense. Enjoyable enough plot, if a little flowery in the writing. However, I found the inaccurate detail about the Scottish education system a bit grating - get it right or leave out the details.
Pippa Waldron
from someone who is a complete bookworm and a mother of 3, i love dark, twisted books, and preferably from an english author. f g cottam was the first to scare me and give me spine tingles. perfect.
This made good reading and I enjoyed it. Well written. Set in the modern day, and full of the supernatural and magic. Good over evil. Would read this author again.
An okay read--but without the eerie subtlety of Cottam's other books. I was less invested in the characters than I wanted to be and the conclusion seemed rushed.
I just couldn't get into it. The concept seems interesting. Maybe it's because I just finished an amazing book or maybe the writing is just not fast paced enough.
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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 Dark Echo The Colony Brodmaw Bay

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