(The Shadows of Miskatonic, Book 1)
“Blending elements from cosmic horror, dark fantasy, and magic-school mysteries while putting a smart contemporary spin on Lovecraftian terrors, Cottrell's fiction debut centers on Ellen Logan, a student possessing psychic abilities who moonlights as a fortune teller…” —BookLife, Editor’s Pick
Great for fans of Leigh Bardugo's The Ninth House, Ruthanna Emrys's Winter Tide.
Nightmares. Disappearances. Suicide.
Fall semester is always a challenging time at Miskatonic University. All Ellen Logan wants to do is pass her classes while holding down a bad job at a New Age bookstore.
But when a former roommate jumps to her death from the university clocktower and another friend vanishes, leaving her with a mysterious book, she embarks on her own investigation. With the help of renowned professor Andrew Carter, she uncovers evidence of a murderous cult, a terrifying creature, and a ghost who knows far too much about her. To survive, Ellen and Carter must descend into the Darkness Below to stop the forces that threaten to tear their world apart.
“Darkness Below is even more intriguing than horror stories by well-known authors such as Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Ramsey Campbell…. [It] is a compelling story from the first page. I found my curiosity instantly aroused and it never diminished.… Five stars are insufficient to show my admiration of this work by Barbara Cottrell.” —Sarah Stuart for Readers’ Favorite
“Darkness Below by Barbara Cottrell is a compelling and unnerving exploration of Lovecraftian horror set in the grounds of Miskatonic University.” —IndieReader, IR Approved
“Fans of spooky tales of academia…are sure to enjoy this creepy offering and look forward to sequels. A goosebump-inducing dark fantasy set at a supernatural institute of higher learning.” —Kirkus
“Darkness Below by Barbara Cottrell is one of the best paranormal horror stories I’ve read in a while…. I absolutely loved Darkness Below. No words could do it justice, but I’ll try my best. It is so incredibly well-written and captivating. Barbara Cottrell has created a magnificent world steeped in art, emotions, and the supernatural…. I would highly recommend Darkness Below to anyone that wants to read a well-written, enticing story with fleshed-out characters and loads of suspense.” —Melanie Kennedy for Readers' Favorite
“Darkness Below by Barbara Cottrell was a superbly crafted novel that referenced the mythos of the popular Call of Cthulu game. The writing style was polished and the dream inserts were intriguing…. Darkness Below by Barbara Cottrell combined action and character to create a tale that should appeal to fans of tentacled literature.” —Cecelia Hopkins for Readers’ Favorite
"Darkness Below mixes elements of fantasy, horror, and mystery. The combination is unsettling and captivating, pushing you on a ride to discover what's truly lurking beneath the surface. Barbara Cottrell's debut gives us a nostalgic feel with a modern twist. She plays in Lovecraft's sandbox, but the terror that rises is all hers. Highly recommended. The rest of the series cannot arrive soon enough." —James Sabata, author of Caduceus
"I never thought in my lifetime I'd read a Lovecraftian story that was such a delightfully fast-paced and fun read as Cottrell's Darkness Below." —Michael Arnzen, Bram Stoker award-winning author of Grave Markings and Proverbs for Monsters
“In Darkness Below, Barbara Cottrell takes Lovecraft back to school and drags the Cthulhu Mythos into the 21st century by presenting Miskatonic University not as a venerable, ivy-covered university, but as a struggling modern school, dealing with fraternity crawls, violence, and its place within haunted Arkham, and populating it with likeable, intelligent characters with agency and interior lives. Fans of Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom will enjoy this eldritch adventure.” —Ross E. Lockhart, editor of The Book of Cthulhu and Cthulhu Fhtagn
“Darkness Below mixes elements of fantasy, horror, and mystery. The combination is unsettling and captivating, pushing you on a ride to discover what’s truly lurking beneath the surface. Barbara Cottrell’s debut gives us a nostalgic feel with a modern twist. She plays in Lovecraft’s sandbox, but the terror that rises is all hers. Highly recommended. The rest of the series cannot arrive soon enough.” —James Sabata, author of Caduceus & host of TheNecronomi.com podcast
Barbara Cottrell gave up her career as a professor to pursue her true passion: writing weird fiction. She is the author of Darkness Below and is a lifetime member of the Horror Writers Association. She enjoys presenting her work in unusual venues like Mystery Writers in the Mausoleum and Word Horde Emporium of The Weird and Fantastic. She lives in Sonoma County on a not-at-all-haunted vineyard. When she isn’t exploring the dark side, she makes wine with her husband, Lance.