Cover Image: The Lodge

The Lodge

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Member Reviews

The Lodge, what can I say but yet another winner from this fresh talent of horror thriller writer Chris Coppel.  Taking a genre and keeping it fresh and finding a new way to thrill, chill and keep the reader fully invested.  

The Lodge starts out in the Scotland and may I add that I do not know much about the author but writing and able to capture his environment such as The States in Lucky and now Scotland in this book, he really knows how to capture his places.  Excellent job.  We start out with a new policeman on a snowy evening being called out over the accidental death of a hunting resort which all seems quite normal.  This takes a drastic turn starting with his car journey to the Lodge and we are now in the capable hands of our author.  We find ourselves in the depths of a Agatha Christie meets Patricia Highsmith animal shorts and we are all along for the ride.

The characters are strong and again Coppel has managed to mix dark humour with social commentary very well.  He has an interesting way of drawing out the characters and when you have a large cast, it is very easy to have some get lost in the shuffle which Coppel avoids.  Every character stamps their impression onto the readers subconscious long after their demise.  

The plot is very intricately written using a whodunit, mystery, suspense, thriller and horror genres and mixing these to a very unique experience.  Coppel has fun with his plots twists and turns but keeps everything in the realistic department with a supernatural bent.  This means that he keeps everything real within the confines of his story and doesn’t pigeonhole plot devices to make it work.  These are all done naturally.

This is another thrill ride and social commentary from Coppel who is fast becoming a true favourite of mine.  I can’t wait to read what he comes out with next but I am going to be there devouring his next great work.  Thought provoking, thrilling, horrific, darkly funny and downright entertaining.  This is a well worthwhile binge read and one that never disappointments.  Highly recommended.
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Animals take revenge against their hunters in this short horror story set in the Scottish Highlands in the week between Christmas and New Year., Chris Coppel’s ‘The Lodge’ opens with a young officer (Andrew) receiving a phone call from a hunting Air B&B about a sudden death. Andrew drives up the mountain to the remote Inn with a snow storm starting and then is forced to stay with Helen, Leon and Elena, the Lodge Managers and wait out the snow. While investigating the choking death of Alan Hutchinson, he realizes all is not right in this bed & breakfast. As the bodies pile up and he still can't get back down the mountain, Andrew begins to fear for his own life. 

Chris Coppel writes this book with the creepiness of 'Pet Sematary' blended with some dark humor and a lot of blood and gore. The characters are hilarious caricatures of the rich and wealthy who soon becoming the hunted. While a succinct Novella, this book is certainly a juicy page turner. The suspense, witty banter and great characters make this a superb read.
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The Lodge is a wild thriller with fun kills and a bonkers villain. Coppel does an amazing job of crafting the narrative to create a slow burning suspense that leads to an eruptive climax. The story centers around a snowbound hunter’s lodge in the Highlands where a group of couples plan to enjoy Christmas. After the death of one of the patrons, a young constable, Andrew, braves the storm to investigate. Soon, he and the others are trapped as they realize they are now the hunted.

Readers will cheer for Andrew as his backstory weaves through the plot. At first, the background interruptions feel heavy handed, but as they continue to pepper the story and readers learn more about the characters, the tension and stakes are raised, and the interruptions are welcome. While most of the characters jumped off the page, one felt a bit too stiff and unrealistic. Elena, a vegan who works at the Lodge, came across a little silly at times as she repeatedly grabbed Andrew’s hand to show him around, even though they had just met, and also seemed a little too childlike in her attempts to flirt with him. However, the other guests and owners of the Lodge brought the story to life.

There are plenty of surprises in this quick paced read sure to win over horror and thriller enthusiasts. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously while dealing with serious themes of grief and anger. Readers will find themselves quickly sucked into the drama unfolding at the Lodge.
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4 Stars!

“The hunters become the hunted” is what is promised on the cover of The Lodge by Chris Coppel along with the skull and antlers of a deer.  Not knowing anything about the story or the author, this was enough to lure me into the novel so I decided that I just had to give it a read. 

 

It is Christmas in the Scottish Highlands when a blizzard begins to set in and one of the guests at a hunting lodge suddenly dies at the dinner table.  Andrew, a young constable, is called out to the remote lodge only to find himself stranded there as the blizzard takes hold and cuts the lodge off from the rest of the world.  The lodge is festively decorated for the holiday with lights and ornaments adorning its hallways in stark contrast to the dead body in the dining room.  The animal heads and various hunting trophies that are on display throughout also seem to bring an element of death to what should be a time of pure celebration that Andrew finds odd.  Upon the surface, the death of the guest seems like an accident.  Then things begin to get strange.   

 

First the body goes missing.  Then, if that is not strange enough, there are a couple events that almost make it seem like the hunting trophies may have a hideous second life of their own.  Things seem to move around on their own and the guests seem to have what seem like frightening hallucinations except for the fact that they get scratched and bruised in the process.  No one is sure what is happening in the lodge but it is clear that the humans are not welcome there and may not be allowed to leave.  It almost seems as if Mother Nature is aiming for revenge on those who hunt her innocent children and these hunters are in her sights.  It is time for the hunters to become the hunted, but who or what exactly is controlling the predators?   

 

I would like to first say that The Lodge is just a lot of fun to read.  I had never read anything by Chris Coppel before but I am sure that this will not be the last book I read by the author.  I was drawn into the story fairly quickly and the action amped up quickly as the lodge got cut off from the outside world.  The pacing was intense but never strayed from the central narrative and did not seem rushed at all.  The reader is pulled along through the story but there was enough detail to flesh the story out so that it never felt rushed or incomplete.  Coppel uses a deft hand with the pacing of the novel so that it was fast without become too fast.  Details were streamlined but not still strong enough to keep the story feeling real.  Sometimes a fast-paced horror novel can feel like watching a TV show:  a fast entertainment method with little substance.  The Lodge moved quickly without losing its intensity and kept me feeling invested in the story throughout.  This was just a fast-paced and fun book to read overall. 

 

If I want to be critical of the novel, I would point out that I thought the transitions back and forth between the past and present were a bit less than stellar.  They did break up the story a little bit in the second half of the novel and I thought that they gave away the ending a little too soon but maybe that is just my critical mind at play.  In fact, I think that some readers may find the slower-paced flashbacks as a sort of resting spot to take a breather before jumping back in.  I did not find a critical error in this, but I did think that it broke up the flow a little and the story would have been better serviced to have more of these in the first half of the book with only the end of it toward the conclusion of the novel.  I could quibble a bit with the explanation of what was happening as well because it just does not sit quite right with me, but that is more of a personal preference thing and I get it so I think it is good in the grand scheme of things.  Overall, The Lodge is just a fun and quick read for the horror fan looking to kill a little bit of time.  I really enjoyed the book overall and would recommend it to fans of horror similar to Dean Koontz’s old novels but with maybe just a bit more of an edge.  I look forward to reading more from Coppel in the future. 

 

I would like to thank Troubador Publishing/Matador and NetGalley for this review copy.  The Lodge is available now.
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Andrew Whiting is a brand new constable in tiny Kingussie, in the Highlands of Scotland.  He is called to a lush and remote hunting lodge to investigate an accidental death during a blizzard on Christmas Eve.  The lodge has recently opened and is hosting an extravagant, all-inclusive traditional Scottish holiday for a handful of privileged guests.  Once Andrew arrives at the lodge, it quickly becomes clear that he won't be able to leave for at least a day or two due to the storm.  The storm has also knocked out cell and land line service, so the isolation is complete.  It might be nice to spend the holiday at the cozy lodge, until some events start to unfold that suggest there may be foul play involved in the case of the dead guest.  

I liked this book.  It was fun to read, and to follow the story as it unfolded.  It was dark and it was fast pacedIt kept me guessing throughout the entire book and kept me turning the pages.  There were some good scares, some really creepy imagery and some very solid gore.   I really enjoyed the setting - a lush hunting lodge in the Highlands of Scotland on Christmas.  Beautiful wilderness scenery, lots of leather and tartan plaids.  And lots and lots of taxidermized animal trophies.   I give the plot high points for creativity, and I really enjoyed the life that the author brought to the characters.  There were some that I really loved, and some I really loved to hate.  I liked jumping into each person's back story and learning how they come to be who they were at present.  I was a little puzzled by the tone of the book - it was really very light and playful.  Some of the dialogue read almost like a rom-com, and it was a bit jarring compared to the stark gore that was piling up as more guests were lost.  I don't know if the mis-match was intended as a way to throw the reader off balance, but it struck me as odd and a little confusing.  Overall, it was fun and creative and I think any horror lover would enjoy reading it.  Thank you to Netgalley and Matador for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my opinion.
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I honestly picked this story up because I love a good horror story set in an isolated area with bad weather keeping people at the mercy of whatever sinister force is against them. 
This definitely isn’t your average story and I liked that it did have some surprises for the typical trope. However, I felt like the writing was a bit choppy in the beginning. It felt very odd and some of the dialogue came off very unnatural. The conversations between some of the characters came off very forced and strange, almost like they didn’t know how to actually talk to other people. 
I also felt like some things didn’t make sense to the story, kinda like it was filler and not actually important to the story. 
The story was a pretty fast read, but I do feel like it could have been even shorter and maybe eliminated some of the bits that weren’t too important to the story. 
I did start enjoying it more about halfway through and I really liked the plot twist at the end. It was probably my favorite part of the story and redeemed it overall for me. I would be interested in reading more in the future from this author.
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Sadly, this was archived before having a chance to read it. Should it become available again I'd love to check it out. Thank you
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I liked this book and I didn't. It had some really great elements, some great tension building thriller moments. However, some parts of this book seem to drag and I feel a lot could have been cut out and it would have been more enjoyable.
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What a gripping thriller. 

This was a very disturbing but good read. 

Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and could not get enough of. 

This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good thriller!!
Absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the tension -  impossible to put it down.
Certainly recommended!
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The Lodge is a fast paced quick read with a really interesting original plot and one I very much enjoyed. 
I found it creepy at times especially when reading it late at night.
The characters are easy to follow, although there are a few of them and at times I had to stop and think about who was who. 
Overall this was a book I enjoyed and after a few chapters found myself whizzing through.
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I love "when animals attack" eco-horror. It's one of those genres that I do tend to get a bit giddy about simply because I enjoy the concept of animals taking their revenge. The Lodge essentially follows that pattern. A guest at a hunting lodge in the remote Scottish Highlands experiences a harsh end, choking during dinner. Andrew, the constable sent to make sure there was no foul play at hand, then gets snowed in at the lodge with its owners and guests. 
 
There's no wait to get into the action as the guest dies in the first few pages. It's not long after that the weird stuff starts happening and there is plenty of weird. Eco-horror either plays itself completely straight or on the campy side. The Lodge is a strange mix of the two. On one hand, you have a horde of intelligent rats dismantling the vehicles so there is no escape and on the other, you have some Evil Dead taxidermy waling on the wall. There's absolutely some great imagery here though. 

The Lodge has a lot of flashback-style, character backstories, which honestly, didn't really further the book for me and distracted me from the here and now.  Taking the reader out of the story to a backstory blocked the flow of the novel as the back stories didn't always feel like they were organic. While show vs. tell has always been a debated writing tool, the info dump chosen often here instead made them feel flat. 

I grew up in a hunting family and my husband hunts. None of my family, even the most enthusiastic of hunters, were ever like the ridiculous caricatures of hunters that are in the book. There are probably hunters out there like this, but I've not met them. On top of that, the actions of the characters just didn't make sense. They all seemed to be stereotypical ideals of what they should be, even the vegans. 

The Lodge seemed to have the perfect formula for a great read. There were multiple storylines that converged in the end, but there really weren't any surprises. It was intriguing enough to be a fast read but the plot seemed to get more convoluted as it went. I liked the idea but found the execution bland.
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The devil is always in the details and The Lodge dishes them out like a nice steak dinner…ahem, perhaps the wrong pun. Life is a revolving door and Coppel manages to intermingle different plot lines that unravel when you least expect it. He is masterfully adept at weaving societal and conscientious topics that not only question your way of life but have you examining the lasting impact of said choices. If you’re a fan of the closed-door mystery with a large helping of horror, then you are going to want to pick this up immediately.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up The Lodge, but my expectations were soon realized. The reader is immediately thrown onto a dark, cold and mysterious path. Get the hat and gloves out because the sinister narrative will seep into your very core. My blood began to run cold, as I imagined the wind biting at my exposed flesh as if I were transported to the highlands. The plot is so raw and gritty which translates into a fully immersive reading experience. A few words were all it took to be sitting in The Lodge fearing for my life.

Andrew is a fascinating character. He’s had a hellish life and his life experiences have catapulted him towards a career in the police force. A graduate in the police force hungers for action in the big cities but Andrew is content with the quiet, his first posting being in a rural station in Kingussie. He lost his parents when he was twelve in a horrific road traffic accident. They were hit by an animal carrier, the devastation and destruction wrought on his family is absolute.

The Lodge is bleeding in its authenticity. Past wrongs implicate and really come back to bite you on the ass. The animals are fighting back. Helen and Leon have organized an inclusive Christmas package at the newly refurbished Lodge. No expense spared and the guests are all hunters, expecting well, to hunt. Little did they expect to become the hunted. A gory tale of revenge and grief, the story developed a life of its own and grabbed me by the throat. It wasn’t just the death and bloodshed that had me hooked – it was the exploration of Andrews mind that gave it greater depth.

The Lodge reminded me of an Agatha Christie type of closed-door mystery and teamed with the horror and gore left me salivating. It ended up being a Tour-de-force, an imaginative blend of suspense and grit.
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The Lodge is set in the Scottish Highlands through Christmas, when a accidental death occurs, and the young constable who is sent to the hunting lodge to help gets snowed in with the other guests. When some strange occurrences begin, and other guests begin to get hurt or go missing, they start to suspect something is hunting them. What happens when the hunters become the hunted?

The Lodge has an interesting premise, and when I first read the synopsis I expected a bit of a locked room style mystery. What I wasn’t expecting was a supernatural story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn’t quite what I was prepared for. The synopsis does make it sound as though we’re getting in to a mystery thriller, so supernatural sometimes does suit that if done well. 

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t think The Lodge did this well. For such a short little novella, there is a lot of filler as we’re given background stories about the constable, and the other guests staying at the lodge. This took up a large portion of such a small book, and while it was important to the story, it felt like it overshadowed the actual current events taking place. It lost the bit of thrill and suspense you have wondering about someone who just was gruesomely killed, when you’re suddenly jumping timelines for background of when two characters meet at school. It made is feel disorganized and lacked the excitement I was looking for. 

I also found the ending to be a bit preachy, when it all comes together. It felt heavy handed, and the supernatural aspect to it felt silly. It kind of lost all of its redeeming qualities when the message of the story came together for me, especially when it came to Elena. 

I can see how this could be a fun novella for some readers, but unfortunately it just didn’t work for me,
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I requested The Lodge for review because it sounded like a gory horror set in one of my favourite places on Earth: the Scottish Highlands. I was hoping it would be an atmospheric and spooky read, but I immediately felt let down by the writing style.

The writing felt very juvenile, with lots of exclamation marks within the prose which I do not like. It tends to feel childish and stunted when authors do this, especially to the extent the author of The Lodge used them.

There was also a lot of info dumping, which is not something I typically expect from my horror books. One moment I was reading about the goings on at the hotel, and then I was suddenly switching to what was basically a biography of one of the characters, which talked about what seemed to be their entire lives up until they got to the hotel. It was boring, it was jarring, and I didn't care for it. I feel like this could have been done much more smoothly, if it was even necessary.

Because of this writing style (and the instalove that had?? no?? place?? in such a horror book, I wasn't able to get into the book and I've had to rate it quite poorly. I didn't enjoy it at all.
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Freaked me out. Totally freaked. At times i put it aside because i was home alone an sc my only thankfully thing is i have two dogs with perfect hearing because everything i heard freaked me and i could only rely on my dogs ears pricking up. If this author intended to give me nightmares they succeeded!!
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Ekkk I am telling y'all I was so excited for the ending of this book because I had no idea what was going to happen! Chris Coppel did an excellent job writing this one. His storyline was awesome and really made the pages come to life. Go and read this one!
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In the Scottish Highlands, policeman Andrew is called to examine a dead body at a newly ripened hunting lodge. And then the body disappears. As the guests and proprietors are snowed in with Andrew, they all slowly begin to disappear, and Andrew must figure out what's happening.

This wasn't amazing. The prose was serviceable, and the characters not incredibly Wells drawn. But it is a fun enough, quick enough read with some requisite tragic back stories. I'm always a sucker for winter isolation horror with strange disappearances.
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A super quick read that I'm not entirely sure how to feel about. It was gory, terrifying, and unsettling, though I think what didn't land well for me was the bits of humor throughout - I wasn't sure how to reconcile the horror with the humor. I think this is just me, though, and horror fans may enjoy this one more than I did!
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This book blew me away! I was unable to but it down. Perfect, dazzlingly, very well written. The details the author described throughout the book was so amazing. The  characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview The Lodge by Chris Coppel.  Well, this is a real different book.  It has all the parts and pieces of a scary as hell book.  A mansion, an oncoming snow storm, a strange group of guests, and stuffed animals.  But these are not your nice cuddly stuffed animals,,,no they have been stuffed by those who hunted them.  I think there is some resentment there...
Quick read - fun and very gory.
3 stars.
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