Angry Robot | 8 November 2022 | 400 pgs
This book has "movie adaptation" written all over it. A folk horror set in a remote snowbound Peak District, well could you sense the thrills and the intensity already?
The story begins with our heroine, Constable Ellie Cheetham, finds a body and initial speculation is that he drank too much and froze to death, considering his reputation as a good-for-nothing and an alcoholic. However, there's something strange about the victim, Tony Harper's gesture. He was found clutching a knife and appeared to be hiding from someone. And what most stranger is the odd mark that was drawn on a stone beside him. Ellie couldn't explain this strange occurrences, but there's another bigger problem for her ahead as she has to deliver the bad news to the Harpers family and they're bent on or engaged in lawless violence.
What follows next are more disappearances and unexplainable causes after more bodies are found, and Ellie and the few of the residents have to face the horror that they might be dealing with something more sinister and more terrifying than the menace of the Harpers family.
Isolation and fear are the core elements in this atmospheric folk horror tale. Added to the draw is our fearless heroine, Constable Ellie Cheetham, who carried an emotional baggage from her broken family yet one who stands strong for the villagers when destruction struck. And speaking of characterisation, the Harpers family played an important role in this story regardless of their notorious deeds and the author described each of these family members' characteristics incisively and vividly. However, there're something more that I wished the author had worked on it to make this book a better read, such as the history and more information about the ancient evil and cutting down a few chapters in between which seemed to drag a bit. Nevertheless, it was a compelling read and fans of classic horror will probably enjoy this.
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