Interlopers from Hell
Our differences in face, race and color are what make each one of us unique and special. But, sometimes it is those specific differences that cause others to make fun of us, mock our mannerisms or physically try to harm us. Presented with difficult situations young teens often adhere to the mores of their friends in order to fit in. Others might try to understand a new student, new neighbor or even a relative that is from another country. When Edwin enters his school for the first time he encounters more than just the usual prejudice, bullying and cruelty inflicted on those that are considered weak or different. When you meet Edwin he encounters a young man named Stanmore whose bent on torturing him but not to the exclusion of others. Taking Edwin and grabbing him hard he hoped to as he said have some fun with him but a young man named Brian took care of his folly within the schoolyard but it would not end there. As Brian finds his way to help him another young man named Ritchie becomes another champion for his safety and wants to be his friend. Listening to Edwin or Eddy as he should now be addressed to avoid more teasing, you realize that his manner of speech is right out of the Victorian Age and his vocabulary way above that of the other students. When Ritchie agrees to accompany him home he meets the austere and reverend man, Edwin’s grandfather and have course his too. Edwin’s grandfather is anything but pleased about his new friend and hopes to discourage any further contract. But, Ritchie is a great kid and really does want to learn more about Eddy and what he learns really surprises him. Imagine having a room filled with expensive soldiers, guns and other arms that can be used to recreate fake battles. Imagine living in a home that from the outside looks dilapidated but on the inside looks antique, cold, no light bulbs, no paintings and nothing that would make the home feel lived in. The worth of what he shows Richard or Ritchie is more than most families earn in a lifetime. Some made in Germany, others British and all quite expensive and even used in real battles in the past. But, Richard or Ritchie hesitates to agreeing to come again for tea even though Eddy’s mother welcomes him but his grandfather’s presence gives him an uneasy feeling.
There is much more that will astound the reader before the real truths are revealed. As Richie and Brian want to learn more about the Victorian period and possibly about the revered things he showed him. But, everything is not what it seems and although Edwin feels he can handle Stanmore and anyone else what happens next is bone chilling. Going down to the beach to play a simple game would bring about more than just an encounter with Stanmore. Finding their way and starting to play this bully comes front and center with them both and threatens to do more than just hurt Edwin. As Richie goes for the ball that seems to have gotten away he leaves Edwin in the murderous hands of Stanmore. Finding his way to Edwin’s home he relates the incident to his grandfather who is more than just angry and tells him to no longer call on Edwin. But, that is not even the hard part the rest is terrifying and when he relates it to his parents things get worse.
The following day Edwin is not in school and Stanmore is found dead. Just how these two incidents are related remains to be revealed and going back to Edwin’s house would be even more disturbing as it has been condemned and when both Richard and Brian question someone in the area they are told that no one has lived there for quite some time and that there is no way Eddy was ever there. As Richard asks questions and a decision is made he, Brian and Richard’s father go in search of answers to find out what happened to Edwin. Receiving a letter from him leads them to places that will terrify the fearful and horrify the weak. With the envelope and possible location in hand they board several trains and on one meet a strange man whose clues to where they are going would stupefy them as no one saw the man come on or leave the train or does he really exist. Finding somewhere to lodge but not before encountering some unfriendly people they learn the place called the Little Lowland just might not exist. But, an encounter with a shopkeeper, purchasing a book leads them to a man named Royden Penwright but not before leaving poor Brian in the hands of the man where they are staying. Just whether this was smart has yet to be seen and where is Brian when they call him is unknown? This man is quite enlightening and what he reveals compelling as they learn the Lowlands existed, but the stamp in Edwin’s letter was from 1869 and the history behind the times, the witch hunts and the mindset of people back then quite different. As we learn more about the time, this man relates that a spiritualist named Leonard Sterling started to piece it all together and here is where our story gets interesting. Leonard Sterling is the great grandfather of Richard’s father and what we learn at this point might bring some clarification as to why they were drawn into this story, why they were led to this place and what link do they have to Edwin and his family. Things are not what they appear within the pages of this terrifying novel as Brian seems to have disappeared in search of Edwin where remains a puzzle as yet. A note left, a message given and the history of the Little Lowland divulged added in the presence of a witches coven, the truth behind Leonard Sterling’s murder and much more yet to come.
When Richie and his Dad return to the farm where they are staying and question Mr. Turney his behavior and actions become irrational, violent and disturbing when questioned about the Little Lowland and Brian’s whereabouts. Attempting to hurt Richie, his father coming to more than just the rescue, events happening but did they and characters trying to find hidden truths as one man named Penwright seems to hold the key to the answers needed but just how many more bodies will turn up, just who murdered his great great grandfather, who set the fire that they came up in the barns, where did Brian go? When Eddy seems to have contacted and shown up was he really there? This is a story about one teens determination to find out what happened to a friend whose friendship he valued, another who risked everything to come with him and a father whose faith in his son was undying. Interlopers: defined means: A person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong. Or: 1. One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler.
2. One that intrudes in a place, situation, or activity: “When these interlopers choke out native species, ecologists see a danger signal” (William K. Stevens). Free dictionary.com so, who is really interfering in the affairs of others? Is it Richard and his father considered the meddlers or all of the hellish people they encounter entering our world possibly from another recreating events from the past?
When the events unfold and the dangers increase and he finds Brian what and where Rich, Brian and Rich’s father winds up will shock the reader as what once the Little Lowland is no longer extinct. They have gone back in time but why? What part does Penwright play and the actor on the train? What about the rituals they endured? Brian relates his reasons for going after Eddy as he claims he materialized, needed help and then the rest you will have to learn for yourself when you find out what Brian relates on page 105. There is so much more as Richard is being honored on the day of the anniversary of his great great grandfather’s execution by an entire town. Meeting Richard Stannard the poet was to enlighten them but when faced with another question and an engraving on a stone, what is the truth, what is real and what is just configured to make Richard believe what they want him to. Real, illusions or just plain terror. Who is Stannard really? Where are they and will they return to their time period?
A worried mother decides to enlist the aid of an investigator not knowing that the end result will draw Curtis and his friend Patrick into a web of deceit, illusions, lies, betrayals and revenge. As Curtis and Patrick find themselves drawn into the mystery and back in time the events that happen and the end result is more than just chilling. Each time one member or members of Edwin’s family or community find those trying to help Richard and his father, the link to their pasts comes full circle and the end result is frightening. But, Gail Sterling is relentless and what she does will stupefy readers, let you know that she is not one to be trifled with and a special gold crucifix just might hold the answers within her touch to find her family and bring safely home. Not every event is what it seems to be and when Richard and his father come face to face with those that want them gone the truths behind the murders, burnings and more comes out but can anyone stop them? Questions that will remain unanswered. A mother who risks it all for her family and an ending that will make you wonder what’s next for everyone. Will they stop Edwin and his family? Will they ever be safe from harm? A story so riveting and so filled with twists, turns and more than one surprise that you wonder just who are the real Interlopers from Hell: Edwin, his grandfather, or are there more? A book that deals with family loyalty, love, hope, hate, revenge, friendship, caring, power and deceit. Just who wins and who loses you won’t know until the sequel comes out. Just what is their fate? Read the book to find out. This book is for high school students and older. Graphic, visually illustrated within the descriptive passages the reader becomes enveloped in the scenes and feels they are taking part in the action along with the characters. Glenn Stuart has really created a horror and dark novel that is first rate.
Fran Lewis: reviewer