The Redemption of Morgan Bright, by Chris Panatier

The Book

The Redemption of Morgan Bright
Pages: 416
Age Group: Adult
Published on 4/23/2024
Publisher: Angry Robot
Gothic Horror
Available on:


What would guilt make you do?

Hadleigh Keene died on the road leading away from Hollyhock Asylum. The reasons are unknown. Her sister Morgan blames herself. A year later with the case still unsolved, Morgan creates a false identity, that of a troubled housewife named Charlotte Turner, and goes inside.

Morgan quickly discovers that Hollyhock is… not right. She is shaken by the hospital’s peculiar routines and is soon beset by strange episodes. All the while, the persona of Charlotte takes on a life of its own, becoming stronger with each passing day. As her identity begins unraveling, Morgan finds herself tracing Hadleigh’s footsteps and peering into the places they lead.  

My Review

The Redemption of Morgan Bright is a gothic horror novel, written by Chris Panatier and published by Angry Robot Books. With a style that mixes the own narration with different documents such as police registries, news and phone calls, Panatier weaves a complex story which blends mystery with horror and that encloses a powerful message about body autonomy and guilt.

Morgan's sister, Hadleigh, died on the road leading away from Hollyhock Asylum; the reasons are unknown, but Morgan blames herself. Moved by guilt, she decides to create the identity of Charlotte Turner, a trouble housewife, who is entered into Hollyhock under the diagnosis of domestic hysteria; soon she discovers there's something off in the Asylum, leading to strange episodes.

In the best way of psychological horror, Panatier slowly builds the setting, introducing small elements that are off and that point towards a bigger secret that we must unveil; a reflection of Morgan's experience. To add salt to the wound, not only Morgan is having a complicated time in the Asylum, but we can see how Charlotte starts gaining its own sentience, an escalation of what it was supposed to be a simple 30 days stay in the Asylum.

I don't really want to enter into spoilers, outside of assuring you that Panatier's prose does an excellent job at painting unsettling images from Morgan's visions; the atmosphere is simply superb, taking a classic horror setting but elevating it a step more. It is also worth to put the focus on the excellent message that is hidden behind the words, a revindication of body autonomy, portraying how also women have always been (and still are) harmed by the prejudices that are still rooted in medical science.

The Redemption of Morgan Bright is a perfect novel if you are looking for an excellent gothic horror with mystery and psychological elements; a compelling story that will keep you glued to the page.

The Author/s

Chris Panatier

Chris Panatier

Chris lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, daughter, and a fluctuating herd of animals resembling dogs (one is almost certainly a goat). He writes short stories and novels, "plays" the drums, and draws album covers for metal bands. As a lawyer, he goes after companies that poison people.

Chris's short fiction has appeared in Metaphorosis, The Molotov Cocktail Magazine, Ghost Parachute, The Ginger Collect Magazine, Tales To Terrify, Trembling With Fear, Ellipsis Zine, Defenestration and others. He's a member of SFWA and HWA.