Shacklady by Keller Yeats
Book Three of the Nick Swann Investigates Series
At the end of the 19th century, Silas Shacklady was obsessed with his mine in the Snowdonia mountains. Digging ever deeper in search of a Motherload, Silas disturbs dark secrets and powers hidden for centuries within that subterranean world. In 1897 the mine was sealed after a cave-in buried Silas and over two hundred men, caught forever within its black maw.
The mystery of how this happened and the strange presence of The Lady Emily, an ancient steam engine, draws Nick, Wendy and Alan into a dangerous underground adventure. One which finds them trapped in a battle between malevolent forces, risking all their lives and creating profound consequencies for many.
Shacklady by Keller Yeats is a mysterious tale set in Wales. It follows Alan, a man who has purchased an old building and some land. During his renovation he discovers that his purchase has more to offer when his friend Gerry finds an old mine that was once owned by Silas Shacklady, who became rich from mining the cliffs many years ago but abandoned the project. Alan has his old friend and business partner Nick and his wife Wendy come to explore the mine further. They soon learn that this mine contains many secrets lurking in the dark.
The suspense and intrigue in this novel is created right from the beginning. The author starts by plunging readers straight into the mystery surrounding the mine. This is done through subtle suggestions at first, such as, why there are no tracks to get the train out of the mine shaft. Then the reader is left wondering what happened to Gerry. As the reader is given the information about Gerry’s return to the mine where the characters are not, this adds yet another layer of intrigue. I reveled in this deliberate buildup of the story as I felt it was laying the groundwork for a compelling, and at times eerie, supernatural thriller.
I had initially imagined that delving into a mine would not yield much in the way of fantastic imagery, so I was content with a claustrophobic story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author is able to create vivid imagery that blew away all my expectations. For example, by using phrases like ‘swallowed swiftly by the blackness’ and ‘the thicker the air became and the hotter it felt’ the author utilizes all of the senses while taking readers into the depths of the mine. This allowed me to perfectly visualize what was happening and imagine what the characters must be feeling.
Shacklady is a dark and suspenseful supernatural horror story with an intriguing backstory that gives this book surprising depth. With a captivating cast of characters, a compelling mystery at its core, and sharp writing this is a tense scary story that I highly recommend.
Literary Titan July 2022 Book given the Gold Award
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2022
Shacklady, by Keller Yeats, Follows Nick, Wendy and Alan as they set out to uncover the mystery behind Silas Shacklady and his mysterious disappearance. The story of Silas Shacklady speaks of a miner who is in search of the motherload but disturbs mysterious forces. Nick, Wendy and Alan’s expedition just may cost them their lives.
Yeats adds his love of history to his suspenseful novel taking the reader on a chilling adventure. I enjoyed how the suspense progressed at a smooth pace and the characters were slowly seeing and hearing things one by one building up the mystery and suspense. I also enjoyed that the author thrusts the reader into the story. Yeats’ ominous and dark descriptions of the mine made it hard to put the book down as I wanted to know what Gerry and the others were seeing in the mine. The author is a master at telling horror stories and it shows in this story. My imagination started to run wild as I kept reading on thinking what was hiding in the shadows or wondering when something would ease it’s way out of the darkness. The manuscript that Wendy finds in the mine is interesting and I enjoyed reading the entries. Not only do these chilling experiences that the miners describe in the manuscript begin to scare Wendy it also began to intrigue and scare me as I wanted to know more. The characters in the story are likeable and I enjoyed reading their witty banter with one another. I began to worry for them as they explored the mine and began to see and hear things.
Shacklady, by Keller Yeats is a book that will hook you in from the turn of the first page and will have you captivated until the very end. I highly recommend this page turning book as it will have you at the edge of your seat.