3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding tale,
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This review is from: The Bell (Kindle Edition)Knowing the previous form of both of these writers, and recommended to this new release - I had high hopes of a suitably scary yarn, and I was not disappointed. The story begins easily enough, with a baking hot and sleepy Welsh village where the new arrival Neil finds himself cautiously welcome.
As initial events unfold, and hints of a dark past to Upper Cynnfig appear, so the tension gradually builds. Cleverly building in arguments between wary villagers that Neil overhears and sees, as well as a burgeoning love interest for Neil - the reader begins to find out more about the events that occurred in Lower Cynffig and wonder what exactly is going on (why exactly is the Lake fenced off?)
A good mix of serious, older characters who are party to the horrors of the past, and younger innocent characters, ensure the story is lively enough to carry on whilst also keeping the dark overtones of the story firmly to the fore. A sparsely set, but well detailed village in the middle of nowhere allows the story of the mysterious Bell and the Monster to tell itself.
Events seem to be pottering along nicely until the first attack, when it all gets a bit dark and moody, and Neil finds his approaches to questions rebuffed. Aside from praying for rain, there seems little any one is prepared to do, as if accepting the horror as a punishment for a well hidden distant crime.
Once the Monster strikes, the tension is then ratcheted straight up to 'Terror setting', and the village scene quickly descends into a grim fight for survival, with only the relentless determination of Neil and the aid of the few villagers trapped with him to stand against the dark creature. I won't spoil the effect of the first sighting of the Monster - but it's an implacable horror that is even more terrible for it's appearance only in words and hints through most of the story.
Neil - our unlikely champion, is a normal chap. Written brilliantly, you can identify with him as just a thoroughly ordinary person who visits Upper Cynffig to escape a messy recent past, and by virtue of his curiosity, annoyance at having his questions fended off, and sheer bloody-mindedness, ends up embroiled at the heart of the mystery and its thrilling climax.
A complete bargain at this price - and with the combined skills of these renowned writers, I can barely recommend it any higher. If a Dark piece of atmospheric and tense writing is what you are after - look no further.