The Fort Providence Watch
Writer’s Digest Magazine Review - 2001
In this novel, where fiction blends with historical accounts, it is plain to see Henry P. Gravelle walks the narrow divide with confidence. He has given the reader an intimate look at the foggy lanes of London’s East End, an Atlantic crossing, the interior and exterior conflicts of many characters’ lives, and all of this takes place in a century past.
Throughout the book, I felt an atmosphere both chilling and romantic. The author uses a stiff prose, conveying Victorian times on one hand, while delving into his characters with a sensuous language that aroused passion.
I felt the characters were motivated. Dr. Barnet surely the most memorable. As he evolved as the concealed villain, I considered him, in the end, to be his own antagonist. Scenes were most successful when held to one point-of-view.
Congratulations to Mr. Gravelle for a compelling story.
Review by Francine Biere
From introduction to final line, Henry P. Gravelle sets the stage, dims the lights, and prepares to open the curtain on a stage darker than a black, moonless night. As if calling friends for a game of Hide and Seek, Henry extends a most eloquent invitation to a brand new game of Scare the Reader.
I could not help but clap in delight as I responded to Henry’s invitation to examine what is real and what is not. With his talent for the macabre, it is hard to tell the difference. His storyteller voice and sense of place perfectly matches the spells he weaves.
If your taste runs to strange and bizarre, or darker tales in Gothic horror, readers will find it in this cornucopia of stories. A measure of gruesomeness as well as special images easily transports you into the realm of What Ifs and the kingdom of Just Maybes found within this collection of short stories. Ollie-Ollie Oxen Free has something for just about everyone.
Henry does offer a refreshing sense of humor in Confronting Closet Creatures. This essay on the dynamics of monsters in the closet or under the bed provides expert advice on the mechanics of dealing with these boogiemen.
If you desire collecting the odd and unusual, you just might want to read The Acquisition, where the definition of second chance takes on a whole, new meaning. Grenouille Pond leads the reader into a Louisiana child’s summer night, to shadows whispering in the stillness of a Cajun pond.
A word of warning: Be careful what you believe in before opening this book. You may just come face-to-face with some undisturbed demons of your own.