Sleep Sister by Laura Elliot
Published by Bookouture, 31 Mar 2016
ARC from Netgalley
A character driven story that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. When I read that this was a page turning novel of psychological suspense, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in, so I was initially disappointed that I wouldn’t classify it in this way. However, I am glad I stuck with it. The tale is one of sisters, one favoured and one loathed by their mother, but both the victim of the same man who should have protected and nurtured them. Set in picturesque Ireland, the story meanders through childhood, adolescence and adulthood with the blackest of family secrets at its heart.. A terrible crime and the shocking result are the focus of the story and as events threaten to repeat themselves, we see Beth, the older sister finally take matters into her own hands and orchestrate revenge on culprit. The characters are finely crafted and the book was well worth reading for this reason. More of a family saga in the tradition of Catherine Cookson this book will appeal to a different audience than the thriller/suspense reader which makes me question the marketing strap line on the cover, but hopefully it will find its way into the hands of an appreciative audience.
HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Published by Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Apr 26 2016
ARC from Netgalley
My read of the year so far… I cannot wait to complete the whole novel and am on countdown until the publication date. Heuvelt brings the freshest of voices and the darkest of tales to the horror genre and I am so looking forward to reading more from this talented author. I am thankful for the trend of acknowledging that great stories aren’t always written in English and very thankful to the skilled translators out there who ensure that we are reading the great product that the author intended.
This is the intriguing tale of Katherine Van Wyler, 17th century witch who still makes her presence very much felt today in the Dutch-American town of Black Springs. She wonders freely around town, in and out of the shops and people’s houses. Residents know what to do to protect their dark secret; they have multiple strategies to hide the witch in plain sight and to track her using the very best modern technology available and should she appear in their homes, well a dishcloth over the head can make the experience a little easier. However, the kids in the town are growing restless – they want freedom. privacy on the internet and to be just like any other young people and they are stretching the boundaries and rules of the townsfolk to breaking point. The problem is, once you are a resident of Black Springs, you can never leave.
Meanwhile, Katharine, her long dead body blackened and her eyes and mouth sewn shut continues to make her presence felt and to try muttering her curses out of the side of her mouth that has lost a stitch. Such is the bizarre premise of this tale – I read a preview excerpt and cannot wait to finish the tale. Highly recommended for fans of the horror genre and dark disturbing tales..