The Black Church - Toby Tate
Reading a novella is akin to eating your favourite chocolate bar...it's yours, it's yummy and it doesn't last very long! At the heart of The Black Church is a Transylvanian prayer rug originating from the middle ages and bringing evil death to the descendants of the original church builders. Daniel Ivanov's father dies in unusual circumstances and part of his inheritance, an Anatolian prayer rug, is now owned by Daniel, and the slaughter begins! I loved the construction and pace of this short story ( easy and very satisfying to read in one session) the author expertly from the opening paragraph draws the reader in, holds his attention while the tension and horror unfold, and finally just when you think the prayer rug will be no more....the unexpected happens and the Epilogue confronts the reader with a most unexpected and brilliant twist. Through Daniel's strange dreams we learn the history of the rug and as the body count rises the nature of the evil begins to be understood. This is a great example of how the novella can be used as a powerful story telling tool, a highly enjoyable and recommended read.