After coffee with the friends, I had time to kill before the next appointment. It was kinda -2°C and I didn't feel like roaming the streets or hanging out by the lake. Didn't bundle up; I'd be frozen after 20 minutes.
Stopped by the Kirkland Public Library. It was such a calming and welcoming space. There were many corners with loads of people on the laptops and at the shared terminals. But not crowded. Plenty of seats and benches available. I had to pick out some books to sit down with.
Left the magazines alone and went for the fiction shelves. I was thrilled to see so many hard cover books! In fact, most fiction books are hard covers. I've almost forgotten how good hard covers feel in the hand. For practicality, paperbacks are always preferred and there's the entire storage space on the Kindle. I couldn't check out any books of course, and didn't feel like asking for any courtesy to be extended. But I definitely had sufficient time to go through at least two books. Heh. I read fast.
I had nothing in mind to read. Walked to random shelves to pick out a few books and see what suits my fancy at the second glance. Grinned at James Herbert's 'Ash'. I knew exactly how it would be. Sounds like one of those supernatural-detective series that see the same brooding but likeable protagonist in a couple of books. It's something I wouldn't bother usually. But I wanted something light. Even though it was pretty thick, this sounded good.
As I expected, 'Ash' wasn't heavy. The plot was straightforward. Nothing intricate about it to make me re-read portions for hints and clues and all that. It was a fun and fast read. Paranormal investigator David Ash, a secret exclusive sanatorium housed in an historic Scottish castle Comraich, old tales of the war and gory days, strange unexplained happenings, a basement, or rather a dungeon where they keep lunatics locked up in the filthiest conditions quite the extreme opposite of the opulence upstairs. Of Scotland and England.
Comraich Castle is controlled by a secret organization loosely termed 'Inner Court'. Inner Court has survived centuries and pulled those strings behind the scenes, including the 'real truth behind historical events'. About old old ancient secrets of the rich, famous and powerful, as well as the British Royal Family, and a shocking Royal secret. It was hilarious.
There is romance, duhhhh. David Ash and Comraich Castle's young in-house psychologist Dr Delphine Wyatt. We hear all the stories of notable patients, get introduced to the villains and key players. Of course it all ended up in a spectacular fire, of the supernatural and of a rather human assassin who has gone completely nuts.
'Don't you understand?' he yelled back at Haelstrom. Those black orbs floating around her. The years she spent in a coma, followed by more isolation, have somehow enabled her to psychically draw terrible elements back to Comraich, elements I believe have visited, even manifested themselves in the castle years, maybe centuries ago. Derriman's right! The woman is the source of your problems. Her warped mind has summoned them back again, her insane mental energy their conduit. During those decades of neglect they've been gathering strength and they are now ready to strike.'