Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a go, 4 Feb 2012
This review is from: Brodmaw Bay (Paperback)
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In the end I enjoyed reading this book very much but the first few chapters were quite a chore to get through. I'd therefore urge other readers to stick at it for some thrilling fiction.

The story concerns the Greer family making the move from a gentrified area of London to an idyllic fishing village on the Cornish coast. The husband is a melancholic software programmer. The wife is a brilliant artist having an affair with some writer oaf. They have two children, a girl and a boy, the latter of which is viciously beaten up which prompts their move away from the capital. It paints a thoroughly depressing picture of modern London, possibly researched from the pages of the Daily Mail. We discover however the old ways of the countryside are not necessarily any better.

As the story wears on subtle supernatural elements come to the fore, building gradually to the horrendous conclusion of the book. Although I didn't particularly like any of the leading characters the excitement towards the end had me quickly turning the pages to discover their plight.

The gradual building of layers of the story, each more sinister than the last is superbly done. The joy the family feel on their arrival and little shadows of doubt here and there suggest the horrors to come. It's a shame the beginning didn't do much for me, I hope it doesn't put other readers off finishing. The passages on history and landscape also didn't do much for me, things I usually enjoy in fiction. Somehow they just weren't integrated into the story well enough. And the blurb mentions "The Wicker Man" - there are many parallels to that story, though with much more emphasis on the supernatural. The Wicker Man was set on a small island - it's hard to believe these events could take place in mainland Britain.

These gripes aside, this is an exciting and unsettling story.
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3.9 out of 5 stars (56 customer reviews)
5 star:
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