Call of the Mandrake by F. R. Jameson is a type of ghost story featuring ghostly shadows. On the Amazon page for author Jameson, F. R. Jameson writes that the idea of ghostly shadows is a connecting device throughout all his writing. Good idea. If you like ghost stories, you might pick up the author’s complete series. Call of the Mandrake is a 148-page offer through Kindle for USD 2.99 or as a free read on Kindle Unlimited.
Lists are meant to save time and put everything in a neat place for easy retrieval. They are memory aids. I can’t remember where I filed my lists. One essential list is this one where I have my “comfort “ authors, like F. R. Jameson. I know I will learn new things, like unique things about Wales. And what is Mandrake? (I cheated). Imagine a plant that screams, and the sound can kill the listener. Jameson also provides a new spin on things like ghost stories with his “shadows.” I predict I will like this story. It is good to be able to find reliable entertainment.
Ludo Carstairs and Michael Garris work for a shadowy British government agency that investigates strange stuff. Weird occurrences have appeared in Beddnic, a Welsh village. The entire community of Beddnic is not friendly; the settlement of forty-one homes with a few associated shops does not welcome visitors. The resident’s most extreme measure of discouraging visitors, firing at a passing helicopter, has attracted the attention of the government; Ludo and Michael are dispatched to Beddnic to find out what is going on.
The younger Michael is like a Watson to a Holmes and has a function that I felt Jameson never explained. Call of the Mandrake would be a good book club discussion book with a focus on the real role of Michael. With no sexual language, no gore, and no violence, this short novel manages to move along briskly while engaging reader interest. This story should be interesting to learners of English as a second language.
Ludo and Michael must attempt to reach Beddnic by boat during hours of darkness. All previous attempts to enter Beddnic by police or civilian agencies have been repelled by female defense forces. There are no males left in Beddnic. They began disappearing gradually into the nighttime sea until they were finally all gone. But they come back at night in the guise of something like the walking dead. The men do not hurt the women, but neither do they speak with or have any physical relationship with the women. And they are very, very noisy. Throughout the night, the men only want one thing, to get back to the sea. So why the land visit? Read the story.
At this point, I found it valuable to find out what “Mandrake” meant. HMS Mandrake contributes to the story with a secret mission during WW II. There is a sentient, magical plant known as a mandrake. There is noise associated with a mandrake. If readers don’t know anything about “mandrake,” now is an excellent point to check out meanings to make connections.
Ludo and Michael are at Beddnic to help; that is why governments exist. Their help is described in excellent prose by Jameson. This is a novel worth reading for the writing style alone; the content is a bonus. The short length filled the time well at doctor’s appointments. I will read more by this author. I have lots of appointment waiting times to fill.