Thursday 23 August 2018


It’s Ray and Sandra’s first holiday on a Greek island. Why do islanders follow them wherever they go? Why do Sandra and the grandchildren have strangely similar dreams? Has Sandra been granted a wish she didn’t know she made? Before their holiday is over, some of the family may learn too much about the secret that keeps the island alive.

This is my fourth Flame Tree Press ARC, and just so happens to be my first Ramsey Campbell book. I know that's a bit weird for someone who loves horror as much as I do, but I kid you not. :)

When Ray and Sandra arrive in Greece ready to enjoy a family holiday, he can't help but be preoccupied with his wife's mood and comfort. And as soon as they arrive on the island of Vasilema things seem a little odd. There are a bunch of traditions the locals adhere to: answering doors after two knocks, mirrors missing from rooms, warnings about staying indoors after dark, and random enigmatic comments.

Things only get stranger when the rest of the family arrive...

Well, this book certainly had an intriguing concept. Coupled with the secrets Ray and Sandra are keeping, as well as the creepy folklore/mythology, I was hooked. At first.

Unfortunately, all my initial excitement and the intrigue that hooked me to the page at the beginning eventually started to slip away. The main reason was how the story developed. Everything starts out great, all the mysterious pieces are slowly revealed and the tension builds. Until it doesn't.

My interest peaked until I hit the middle, because after that I lost interest in the family's vacation. I no longer cared about what was happening on the island.

I really liked Ray, but couldn't help but wonder if I might have liked the story more if we'd glimpsed a bit of the story from Sandra's POV. Everyone else served their purpose, but in the end were quite forgettable. Oh, and there was one truly awful character. Julian was pompous, annoying, cruel and pretty much destroyed every scene he was in.

My favourite thing about this book is the mythology and the location. The island description is vivid, and I got a kick out of the stuff about the mysterious superstitions.

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach is an interesting story about all the joys of family drama, while other darker things lurk in the shadows of a beautiful island. It also deals with mortality in an intriguing and very peculiar way.

Although I didn't enjoy this ARC as much as the others, it was still a good read.

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