The Samhanach by Lisa Morton

On a Halloween night 300 years ago, something rose out of a Scottish bog to curse the McCafferty clan. Now, in 2010, single mother Merran McCafferty finds her suburban Halloween celebrations torn apart by the arrival of the Samhanach, an ancient trickster demon. When the Samhanach tries to steal Merran’s young daughter, Merran is forced to put aside reason and accept that magic is real, and bogies really do exist on Halloween night.

I love Halloween themed stories, and I love stories based on legends and I love stories based around Scotland.  So how does this, my first exposure to the writing of Lisa Morton hold up?

It holds up extremely well, Lisa has crafted a wonderful tale that really captures the spirit of classic Halloween tales.  The Samhanach can stand with it’s demonic head held high in the company of such greats as  The Halloween Tree and Dark Harvest.   Lisa Morton has captured the essence of a great fireside story, I could imagine my Grandfather on a chilly October night, pipe in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other trying to chill to us with his tales of Scottish monsters.

The writing has a lilting lyrical quality to it, that really draws the reader into to her world.  And as with all great Halloween stories, the horror and violence and is kept to a minimum making this a great tale to read to your kids, with a few passages edited out  on those dark and stormy nights leading up to Halloween, something I’ll definitly be doing this year with my son Campbell.

If I had any complaint about the book, and no doubt someone will correct me on this, but to me McCafferty is more of an Irish name than a Scottish name.  And for any authors reading this you can’t go wrong with naming your hero McLeod, a good Scottish name from a clan with serious links to mythical history of the Scots


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