This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. I loved the Westcountry setting of Porlock Weir and felt the dramatic landscape was superbly realised and juxtaposed with the impressive surroundings of Porlock Manor.
This is the story of a small coastal community with most inhabitants having memories of the time that the village was visited by a Great Pestilence so when the threat of something similar gets swept in by the tide, their sense of horror and impending doom is instantly heightened.
As is usual with Karen Maitland’s books, there are a long and strange cast of characters. It is easy to get lost in the world Karen creates and the line between superstition and reality is deftly drawn.
I liked the inclusion of the historical notes in the book which explained the differences between the two major plague periods and the fact that the type of victim differed between times. I also found the author’s note interesting in that the idea for the novel came partly from contemporary reports of the Ebola virus so the moral dilemmas at the heart of the book, take on a new modern significance.
Light the candles, lock the doors and settle down to be ‘charmed’ by this book!
This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. Light the candles, lock the doors and prepare to be ‘charmed!’[Top]
Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will love this psychological thriller that has plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked.
It’s the story of Fran and Nathan who move to the country with their two young children and something happens one night that turns Fran’s world on its head.
Christobel Kent is adept at cranking up the tension as we wonder with Fran, what the hell has happened and who can she trust now? It’s difficult to say too much about the plot without giving too many secrets away but just when you think you’ve worked it all out, along comes another twist that you didn’t see coming.
I think the sense of place helps to build a brooding atmosphere of tension and unease at the heart of the book and the descriptions of the bleak Fenland landscape add another dimension to the pace of the book and the main character’s quiet unravelling.
There were a few moments where I had to suspend belief at some of the things that happened to Fran and wondered if certain things really rang true but the author is clever enough to keep us rooting for the ‘heroine in peril’ and believing in her search for the truth.
This book is a psychological thriller that doesn’t let up and will make you question everything and everyone until it’s dramatic and startling conclusion.[Top]