Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.
The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.
But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution's labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.
Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.
He is the multi-genre author of eleven books, all available exclusively to Amazon. Focusing on Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia, and sometimes a hint of Science-Fiction, his books cater for those readers who enjoy a dark, terrifying journey into worlds where a happy ending is seldom seen.
If you’re searching for that light at the end of the tunnel then stop looking—you won’t find it here.
SCARY!! HIGHLAND COVE, focusing on one of my favorite scary topics, blew me out of the water! So good, I raced through it in one sitting, and gained lots of nightmare fodder! Believe me, the Supernatural elements and the human Evil are well-matched, and the twists, turns, unexpected events, and revelations unfold at a breakneck pace, unspooling into an unpredicted conclusion! Don't look for Happy Endings, but if you love Haunted Asylum Horror: Bring It On!!
If you like books that contain sentences like this: "There weren’t any signposts directing travellers to the old asylum’s location." Then you will love Highland Cove. I did. Morgan delivers on every chilling hope I have for this genre while making this well-loved trope fresh and scary fun.
The story begins with a frightened attempt by the evil Professor Bukoski to escape the haunted attacks of his victims but I wasn't fully sucked in until the second chapter when we meet the grumpy old sailor O'Connell. Morgan characterizes exceedingly well, and it only took a few glances inside O'Connell's dark mind to make this foreboding and un-put-downable. It was an excellent way to set up the tone of the book.
The chapters progress through the eyes of different characters, a method Morgan does well. Every scene, every detail, is excellent and the emotions are real. Liam was probably my favorite character because he behaves how I would if I had the chance to investigate an abandoned asylum. In classic Morgan style, it ends freaky and despairing.
I won't spoil it but chapter 20 made me physically ill. So intense I felt like I was right there. This book had every creepy, gorey thing you're looking for. It is worth the read.
Highland Cove is an atmospheric horror tale about a group of ghost hunters who visit an abandoned asylum on a remote island. The scene setting at the beginning built up just the right atmosphere to give the twists that came later some real punch to them, and the ending hits just the right note to leave the reader unsettled for some time after. I always highly recommend Morgan's novels and Highland Cove is another excellent read for horror fans.
After reading several books by this author, I became a confirmed fan. But then he disappeared for a while. When I learned he had a new release on the horizon, it took me about tenth of a second to request an ARC.
A group of ghosthunters, including some non-believers, spend two nights in an abandoned sanitorium during a vicious storm. Where lots of people died. And it’s on an island. What could go wrong here? Most folks, believers or not, would likely pass on the offer. Luckily for the reader, these characters think it’s an amazing opportunity. Some of them assume nothing will happen and figure they’ll edit in effects to the film later. Right. But then, it wouldn’t be much of a horror story if characters made wise choices.
This author possesses an incredible talent for setting a tone – something he immediately did when the group first set foot on the island. With such vivid imagery, I felt as if I walked the dilapidated halls of Highland Cove along with these characters. Chills tingled down my spine when a wheelchair moved of its own accord. Shadows danced in every corner. During one scene, I cringed repeatedly – and I’ve been reading horror for decades. That doesn’t happen to me very often, so kudos to the author. Trust me when I say parts of this aren’t for the faint of heart.
It’s difficult to mention this without giving away spoilers, but a couple things near the end didn’t come together for me. I had suspicions, and maybe I missed a crucial piece of information early in the book, but I felt part of the puzzle was missing when all was said and done. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this atmospheric tale, but still – some questions niggled at my brain.
I’m thrilled to see another book from this author and hope I don’t have to wait as long for his next one. If you’re a horror fan, this is a writer you need to get to know.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I’m a massive fan of this author and waited (im)patiently for the release of Highland Cove. It didn’t disappoint, and I devoured this in two sittings.
The book starts with a throwback to sixty years ago, setting the scene and introducing us to the reason for most of the horror that follows. We are then swept into the present day and introduced to our five main characters as they begin an expedition to film a documentary in a deserted asylum on a Scottish island.
Character development is vital to any novel as the ‘cast’ are the most significant part of any story. However, in Highland Cove, Morgan’s storm becomes a pivotal main character. You can almost taste the electricity crackling in each thunderclap and bolt of lightning, and feel the rain on your face. The descriptive prose adds another layer to the fear as it builds to the crescendo.
There’s a twist I didn’t see coming (no spoilers here) that raised the bar on the horror of this story. I physically squirmed in a few places, and I’m relatively sure I won’t sleep for a week!
As with all of Morgan’s novels, this would transfer beautifully to the big screen, and as I was reading, I could easily picture the terror and fear these characters were going through. You get caught up in the panic and terror of Highland Cove as Morgan weaves current day with occasional flashbacks into old inmates of the asylum.
When you’re nearly at the end of the novel, you dare to hope, but Morgan has a knack of blindsiding you with another twist or two leaving you with a book that stays with you for days, if not weeks after finishing.
I can’t recommend this enough.
I received an ARC copy of Highland Cove from the author in exchange for an honest review via Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team #RBRT
Oh man! Spooky and twisted is the best way to describe this book. It has alternating viewpoints and time periods.
Starts out 60 years in the past as a mad psychiatrist is trying to escape his own facility. He didn't make it. The facility is on it's own island and he's made some serious enemies.
Flash forward to present day and a group of young ghost hunters are headed to the island to try to catch some footage of paranormal activity. The ghosts come out almost as soon as they get there and they're being picked off one at a time.
I absolutely enjoyed this book and will read more from this author.
The story starts sixty years earlier when Polish psychiatrist professor Bukoski was head of the Highland Cove asylum. The stories about Highland Cove intrigue Codie and his team to document the ghostly appearances. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.
With "Highland Cove", Dylan J. Morgan has created an expertly woven plot, a thrilling horror novel. "Highland Cove" comprises authentic characters; Codie is a very likeable guy, I liked him from the start. You learn more about the team as the story processes; the more you learn about them, the more you are inclined to take sides. Dylan J. Morgan easily provides that fine chill that soon lets shivers run down your spine. There are turns that I did not see coming; most of my question marks were answered towards the end. I had a great time reading - this is a very compelling read. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Codie and Kristen and relieved to be invisible.
The ending was what I least anticipated; I could imagine two quite different possibilities for a second book or just say 'Well, I really did not see that coming - but I accept it.'
I could imagine this a perfect plot for the "Fantasy Film Festivals" (they are known for gory horror films); I would admittedly opt to see a milder version, though.
The cover is great - perfect for this story.
This is for you if you like some shivers running down your spine, a creepy atmosphere and a gruelling mystery that needs to be solved.
A highly atmospheric story that gathers momentum like skeletal fingers walking slowly up your back, Highland Cove is a book that will delight lovers of dark, horrifying ghost stories that do not necessarily end well...
The party of five who set out on this foolish mission—to make a documentary in a haunted asylum on a lonely Scottish island—each have their own story, and the characters are well-defined, particularly Liam, for whom this project is something of a passion, and Alex, the sceptical rich boy who has been invited purely because he is willing to fund it. Dylan Morgan's descriptive powers are first class, and I particularly liked the meeting in the pub, early on, with the old sailor who was to take them across from the mainland. Chapters written in the past added an extra dimension to the story, and made it all the more poignant.
I was pleased to find that the horror certainly ramps up during the second half, with many surprises, and I thought the last twenty per cent was actually the best part, with a twist in the tale or two that I didn't expect, at all. I felt that some of the detail in the first half could have been chopped down a little, but on the whole I'd say that this is a fine, well-written book with good plot, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to become immersed in a novel on the gory horror end of the supernatural genre.
Five friends with ambitions to become documentarians travel from London to an abandoned asylum on a Scottish island. The doctor who ran the asylum died sixty years prior and the hospital was closed and is rumored to be haunted.
The author is excellent at evoking atmosphere. The descriptions—first of the pub where the friends met the man who was taking them to the island—then of the island itself—and, finally, the inside of the asylum. The descriptions were creepy and very well done. Dark clouds hanging over the island and the storm complete with lightning added to the exquisite sense of anticipation of meeting some supernatural beings in the corridors or hospital rooms in the abandoned building. Peeling paint, dead leaves and icy wind whirling through the scenes were particularly evocative.
This reader enjoyed the suspense of the book for most of the novel. Figuring out an essential plot point early on was interesting and upped the anticipation of what was ahead.
What was unexpected was the shock of what happened later in the story, and without any spoilers, it’s hard to say what that was, but it was almost too much for this reader. I confess, I glossed over some of that, swiping my e-reader pages faster until the tale moved past that part. I imagine many readers of this genre would revel in that section, but not this one. It didn’t ruin the story for me, but it was disturbing.
The flashes back to the past added to the overall creepiness of the novel. The author is definitely gifted with a talent for descriptiveness. I could see all the places in the story and some made my skin crawl.
If you’re a fan of horror, you shouldn’t pass on this one. The ending was particularly disturbing. Just don’t read before bed or you might wake up at 2 a.m, like I did thinking I heard someone calling my name.....
Highland Cove Sanitorium is situated on an island one mile off the Scottish mainland. The Sanatorium was used for inhumane experiments on patients and has been abandoned for the past 60 years. It's now rumoured to be haunted, and Codie Jackson and his film crew want to capture the ghosts on camera. They plan to spend 48 hours on the island and capture as much footage of the ghosts as possible. Unfortunately, things start to go wrong when one of the crew disappears in the middle of the night.
This is the first book I've read by Dylan J. Morgan and it's not going to be the last! I was utterly gripped from beginning to end. The whole book is dark and spooky. I will be checking every dark corner and shadow for the next few nights!
It starts with a flashback to 60 years ago and the death of the Polish doctor, Dr Bokowski, and his terrifying, gruesome experiments. Straight away, I was hooked by the vivid descriptions and chilling atmosphere. It gets dark straight away, describing the awful experiments that patients endured.
It then transitions to the present day. Codie and his crew take a boat to the island, and we are introduced to each one and learn about their back story. They all feel incredibly real, fully dimensional characters who have their own worries and troubles. I was fully invested in them within the first few pages.
Throughout the book, there are flashbacks to the patients and the atrocities they endure — it's incredibly shocking, but within just a few paragraphs, Dylan creates intriguing and tragic stories.
Highland Cove has everything I want from a ghost story. It is incredibly atmospheric, compelling, scary and with a shocking twist at the end that took me utterly by surprise!
Highland Cove Sanatorium is an abandoned facility on an island one mile off the coast of Scotland. It has a haunted history that has drawn people over the years. Codie Jackson is determined to prove that the hauntings are real or fake. Him and four others travel to Highland Cove and start filming.
When they get there a storm blows in and keeps them trapped on the island. Once filming starts a crew member disappears and everyone gets lost in the maze of the sanatorium. It is starting to become clear that Highland Cove is haunted and they ghost’s mean to keep the film crew with them.
The crew has some that think the haunting are fake and some that want to prove they are real. I began to relate to each person and hoped that they all would make it out although I highly doubted it. There are twists and turns throughout the book and reveals that left me breathless.
This is the first book that I have read from Dylan Morgan. All I can say is WOW!!! I was instantly drawn into the story and kept on the edge of my seat as I read. I love the dark stories and you add in a haunted sanatorium and I am in love.
If you love dark stories, hauntings, and other things that will creepy you out you need to check out this book. I can’t wait to dig into Dylan���s other stories.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
I have given this book four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is the exact book that I needed. I've been really struggling with the ability to really get into a book since the pandemic of the Coronavirus struck, but this book managed to keep my focus throughout and I found it very difficult to put it down. Wow. The opening line had me hooked from the get go: “The only thing that mattered was survival.” This intrigued me to find out what was going to happen and I was right to be intrigued as this book had a twist in there I didn't see coming at all. All the characters were well-developed; the author gave them all a voice and you learnt about their backgrounds through each chapter. I liked the past chapters, where there was an explanation about what happened 60-70 years ago at this asylum. Morgan's writing style is very clever and manages to reel the reader in with the detailed descriptions of a haunted abandoned asylum on an island, with all of these mysterious and spooky things happening around the characters, you're just so intrigued to find out what is going to happen next. Morgan uses vivid imagery which really helped me to picture what was happening clearly. I hope to read more of this authors material in the future and would definitely recommend this book to fans of mystery and horror stories.
One word, “asylum” and I was hooked! I love a good ghost story, and when it takes place in a haunted asylum, well, that’s even better.
The word conjurs the most terrifying images without ghosts or stories because of the history or early psychiatry. The real horrors people experienced then are enough to keep anyone awake at night. Make it the backdrop for paranormal phenomenon and it will likely plague your dreams for a while.
Like many readers stuck at home, I have been having quite a bit of trouble focusing on books. I’ve always been a mood reader, and right now I have never been less in the mood to read. That said, I wanted to read this one, and despite it’s genre (normally a favourite), I decided to give it a go.
Well, imagine my surprise when not only was Highland Cove able to keep my attention, it also gripped me right from the first pages! If that isn’t a testament to brilliant writing and a fantastic story, I don’t know what is! This book was the escapism I was looking for and it was so much fun! Loads of goosebump inducing moments, twists, and the perfect amount of gore. A proper ghost story that I know readers will love!
I happily give this book 5 shrieking phantoms out of 5!
This is the first book I've read by this author and I kind of wish I would have found his books much sooner. Highland Cove is full of twist and turns in a creepy building with creepy ghosts. Will definitely be reading more of his work now that I'm done with this one!
Highland Cove features some of the best elements to be found in a horror novel: a strange, seaside inn, an abandoned asylum teaming with ghosts, and an unabating storm. I was hooked from the outset because of the way in which the author created the mood for the story that was to follow. Throughout, there was plenty of anticipation, action and atmosphere. The majority of the novel took place within a short time span which gave the novel a film-like quality. I particularly enjoyed the ending and didn’t see the twists and turns coming. Good plot, with just the right amount of gore blended with the supernatural.
I love movies where the ghost-hunting film crew enters the haunted asylum and…well, you know the rest. I’ve seen FAR more of them than I care to admit. So when I learned one of my go-to authors was putting out a book about a haunted asylum, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough!
Dylan J. Morgan consistently produces chillingly fun tales of horror that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Highland Cove was no exception. Atmospheric, haunting, tense, spooky, fast-paced, twisted, poignant, and downright scary—what more could you ask for? Read it. And while you’re at it, read his other work. You won’t be disappointed!
I love a good ghost story and/or horror movie. This book falls into both of those categories. I could easily see this book turned into a movie.
The writing was elegant, vivid and wonderfully descriptive... I was drawn in from the first few lines:
"Dark hallways resonated with the sounds of suffering. Doors slammed in the abyss, footsteps boomed off the walls, and tortured moans echoed the pain of their lives. Never before had he head them this clearly or in such numbers; never had he heard them so angry."
The story unfolds through alternating POVs from the five main characters: Codie the leader, Kristen the girlfriend, Alex the rich kid, Liam the believer, and Julian the camera man. Each character's background adds to the tapestry of the narrative, while their individual experiences run the range of the fear spectrum. Historical chapters provide a perfect dimensional overlay to what the characters are encountering as they cross paths with the former residents of the asylum.
I would have loved to have more actual encounters with the ghostly inhabitants, especially with Liam, and additional backstory. This is not to say that the story wasn't complete, just that it was so entertaining that I wanted more. The book moves along at a good pace and there is plenty there to satiate any lover of the genre.
Overall, this was a great ghost story and had a surprise or two I didn't see coming.
It’s been a while since I have read a good horror story and this one is extremely dark. When five college kids decide to film paranormal activity at an old abandoned asylum known as a torture house, their fates are sealed in a deadly twist.
The story begins 60 years earlier when Professor Bukoski is running from his life from the “horror of a life he created” at Highland Cove Sanitorium.
Enter the present day, when five ghosthunters decide to visit a haunted asylum on a Scottish island. The characters are varied and well-developed. Liam has a passion for the paranormal. Liam’s childhood friend, Codie is there for support. Kristen, Codie’s girlfriend, had nowhere else to go due to problems at home, Julian just wanted to be home with his pregnant girlfriend, and Alex, the rich kid and bully, is funding the whole thing. After one of them disappears, the others search for their friend and what happens next is bone-chilling and disturbing.
It’s hard to go into too much detail with this book without giving anything away, but let’s just say this is not your happy ghost story, it is extremely gruesome and will send you reeling with the surprise ending. If you enjoy cringe-worthy horror stories with shocking twists, give this one a try.
Thank you to Mr. Morgan for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
When Dylan reached out asking if I would be interested in reviewing his book. I really couldn’t say no, especially when I read that it was about a group of ghost hunters who visit an abandoned asylum on a remote island. I knew this wasn’t going to be your average horror book.
It’s been a while since I’ve read such an atmospheric horror book. it’s well written with detailed scenes and a fab twist that I didn’t see coming. The characters were also excellent. They were well developed and felt very realistic both emotionally as well as in their actions. When reading I could feel their fears and really believed that I would probably react in a similar way if I was in a similar situation.
This was definitely a great read and before I end this short review I must say I love the creepy front cover, definitely fitting for the story inside. Highly recommend this book to any horror fans out there. Highland Cove is the first book I’ve read from this author but definitely will not be the last.
I would like to thank Dylan for sending me an electronic review copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Horror is in my top favorite genres, so I was on board when Highland Cove came into my inbox for the blog tour. Man, am I happy I said yes! This book is fantastic and I’m so excited about it.
Dylan J. Morgan nails the atmosphere. From the beginning to the end, there was this spine tingling feeling as I read through. The vivid imagery allowed me to feel as if I was walking through the halls of Highlqnd Cove with the characters. Whew. I just had another chill thinking about it!
I read this during this pandemic the world is going through, and honestly, I’ve been having trouble reading because my mind is just not in the right place. Well, Highland Cove gripped me from the beginning and held my attention all the way through. This book is full of nightmare inducing awesomeness and I am obsessed!
Can I give this book more than 5 stars? Highly, highly recommended!
*I recieved a free copy of this book from R&R Book Tours in exchange for an honest review on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
This was one hell of a horror story! And the suspense... wow. I was on the edge of my seat, reading late into the night (Huge mistake. Not great for a peaceful nights sleep let me tell you) but I was addicted! I had to know what was gong to happen. It's extremely atmospheric and written wonderfully. The premise is one which has been tried and tested as a firm favourite. A haunted building, sealed off from civilisation, drenched in a violent and anguished past for those who lived there decades ago. And a group of wide eyed and excited friends, seeking proof of the existence of ghosts with the help of their cameras. The odd flashback was a great addition to the plot, giving the lurking shadows their own voice and backstory. There is also a dark twist that I didn't see coming. Nope... I really DID NOT see that coming! If you enjoy a good scare, gore, heartbreak and sleeping with the light on, then this one is for you.
I've read a few books by this author and like his vibrant, dynamic style of writing. Highland Cove is a ghost story with all the trimmings. I began reading with great expectations, liked the characters, the dark setting of the island asylum, deserted and ripe for gruesome adventure. I read on, trying to work out who would be the first victim...I have to say that the build up might have gone on a little too long for my liking but the final third of the book made up for any impatience I felt, with a denouement that had me gripped and kept me guessing. I like an author who surprises his reader - even if it hurts.
I decided to read a horror story because Halloween is round the corner and the nights are drawing in and I found this book on Twitter advertised by another author I have enjoyed in the past (Terry Tyler). It was just as scary as the cover suggests the author's descriptive narrative was gripping
While focusing mostly on the present day events, Highland Cove takes the path of bouncing back to what Highland Cove was years before it was abandoned, shedding light on its operation and possibly leading the readers to draw certain conclusions about the location now as the documentary group heads to make create their movie. Of course, just like any horror story and structured much like horror films, things go wrong (to no one’s surprise). The question that lingers in any story like this is piecing together whether its paranormal or not and what are the secrets as the story’s pieces fall into place.
What is nice is that there aren’t an overbearing amount of characters and the story is written in third person but follows only a few of the characters, leaving some space for what happened in a blindspot and leaves space for some mystery. In reality, the characters here are designed fairly shallow and the story itself does follow through a lot of the expected horror motions but what does grab it well is how its written. It creates a lot of descriptions and manage to vividly portray not only the feeling of the character in the moment but also visualize what the scene would look like in our minds.
Horror is one of those genres that in terms of movies, I’m fairly desensitized and it somehow has translated to novels, which is probably why I sound much less enthused. However, as little as I read horror novels, this one does a pretty decent job. It starts off a little slow as the characters are introduced and there are some horror tropes that happen but as it settles into the abandoned hospital and some strange and creepy things start happening, the writing itself does manage to get under our skin. I don’t talk about author’s writing style a lot but in this case, Dylan J. Morgan care in its details and how he executes each step of the novel is what makes Highland Cove a mysterious and creepy read.
I will say that this book started off alright - an indie film crew going to hunt ghosts and film a paranormal investigation in a haunted asylum is a standard but good premise. However, once the 'action' started happening so to speak, it just devolved into gratuitous gore and torture porn, which is extremely not to my tastes. In addition, one of the most brutal deaths was reserved for a queer man, a scene entrenched in homophobia that brought such visceral disgust I can say for sure I will never read anything else by this author. No thanks and hard pass.