Going Home Again: A Review of Forgotten Homeland

Book cover for Forgotten Homeland - An Exmoor Ghost Story (A Lorne Turner Novella) by Joe Talon. Image on cover shows someone walking alongside an old stone cottage on a foggy day. They are so bundled up in their coat you can’t tell their sex, race, age, or anything else about them other than the fact that they seem to be roughly adult-sized (or a very tall preteen). The fog is so thick that you can see only the faintest outline of what might be a tree in the distance. Everything you can see has been washed out by fog and looks kind of grey. There are three birds flying overhead the person who is walking. Title: Forgotten Homeland – An Exmoor Ghost Story (A Lorne Turner Novella)

Author: Joe Talon

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: November 17, 2021

Genres: Mystery, Paranormal

Length: 58 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 5 Stars


Lorne Turner, a broken soldier, arrives home for the first time in twenty years to an empty, lonely farmhouse on Exmoor.

The coming days reveal the despair of a farm drowning in debt. The coming nights reveal something far worse.

Lorne doesn’t know if the noises, the crack, crack, crack, are the wind ravaging the moor, memories savaging his mind or the ghosts tearing the veil, begging for help.

This is a short novella which is an introduction to the Lorne Turner Mysteries. The whispering of Exmoor’s dead need justice.

Content Warning: A character who has war-related PTSD (including flashbacks to battle scenes) and who occasionally drinks too much alcohol; a (probably?) accidental death; a  character whose leg was badly broken in an accident.  I will briefly mention them in my review.


A quiet, peaceful countryside life in the family farmhouse sure sounds nice…but that’s not at all what’s going on here.

Lorne’s character development was handled beautifully. I’m lenient about how much of this I expect in shorter works given the very limited amount of space they have to work with, but no such grace was necessary here. Mr. Talon excelled at packing dozens of facts about Lorne’s personality, tragic backstory, and personal development into nearly every single scene in this novella. He couldn’t have done a better job at making this character come alive in my imagination, and I wasn’t about to stop reading until I knew how this would end.

One of the cool things about the paranormal storyline was how intertwined it was with everything else that was going on: serious financial difficulties, a missing girl, the protagonist’s struggles with post traumatic stress disorder, unresolved grief, and so much more. This gave the ghostly elements of the plot an even stronger reason to be included as it wasn’t immediately clear how much of them were genuinely happening versus whether any of them might have been influenced or even accidentally misinterpreted by Lorne’s already fragile state of mind. He was so preoccupied by his horrendous memories of the war and the physical and emotional pain he still carried from his injuries there that he didn’t always know what was happening around him, after all. This is something I’d especially recommend to readers who may not typically be into ghost stories but who are open to trying an excellent example of what this genre can be like.

I also appreciated the fact that not every conflict was wrapped up neatly. While I did feel a sense of closure about some of the short term conflicts, there is still ample room here to dig deeply into everything that can’t be fixed in a few dozen pages. Some problems need much longer periods of time to be addressed, and I’m glad that nothing that required such extensive work was brushed under the rug. What an exciting way to begin a new series.

Forgotten Homeland – An Exmoor Ghost Story was utterly perfect.

1 Comment

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One Response to Going Home Again: A Review of Forgotten Homeland

  1. It’s so nice when an author can put that much character development into a shorter piece!

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