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Path of Needles Paperback – 9 May 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780871465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780871462
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 613,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A great page-turner and by the time I reached the last quarter of the book, I absolutely could not put it down ... This will appeal to fans of both horror and crime, and on the strength of this sophomore novel, Littlewood is going to be very big indeed' British Fantasy Society. (British Fantasy Society)

'Fairy godmothers have been ditched in favour of horrific murders with little left to the imagination when it comes to gore' SciFi Now. (SciFi Now)

'Path of Needles retains the elements of her first novel that were so successful, the crisp prose and perfect pacing chief among them' ThisIsHorror.co.uk. (ThisIsHorror.co.uk)

Book Description

'I loved Path of Needles. Dark but satisfying like the best chocolate' Elly Griffiths, author of The Woman in Blue. This British Fantasy Award nominated book is perfect for fans of S J Watson and Stephen King.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When the body of a young girl is discovered in local woods, the peculiar way the corpse has been arranged reminds PC Cate Corbin of a fairytale. Quickly being drafted onto the investigation team, she contacts Alice Hyland, a lecturer in folk tales at a nearby university, to see if she can shed any light on her suspicions. Then another body turns up, similarly adhering to the imagery of a fairy tale and it becomes clear that there is a serial killer operating in the small Yorkshire town. I loved Alison's previous novel "A Cold Season", a spooky, ghostly tale set in a snowbound Yorkshire and was keen to read this follow-up, trying to get to it knowing as little as possible beforehand. I'm glad I did. Branching off into a whole new direction - vaguely supernatural in a couple of key elements but mainly a police procedural/crime thriller - but highlighting her innate grasp of suspense and beautiful writing, "Path Of Needles" works very well indeed. The story works because of the unusual concept (with Sarah Pinborough's earlier `Poison', I haven't had as much contact with fairy tales since I was a kid) and Alison's research serves the plot and characters well, keeping the reader guessing and throwing in plenty of red herrings (and some clever uses of nature) before the climax slots into place and we fear for the leads. The pace is brisk (it's a quick read), the writing is fluid and elegant, even in the brutal sequences and she never shys away from the grim reality of this kind of thing, as a result making them all the more powerful.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I know the author, please don't think this has given me a biased opinion, Path of Needles is a fantastic book and exactly the kind of story I love to read. It has been well researched, I had no idea that there were so many variations of the popular stories and fairy tales that we all know and love and it was interesting to discover their roots. This book had me hooked from the start with ever increasing gruesome, cleverly engineered murders with some great, colourful characters, well imagined scenes (half real / half fiction) and a fast paced exciting plot that flows wonderfully from beginning to end. I loved Ali's first book, A Cold Season and Path of Needles is in a league of it's own. I would recommend this book to anyone - please read it!
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alison Littlewood is clearly very versatile. Her last book, A Cold Season, was out-and-out supernatural horror. "Path of Needles" is more ambiguous.

The book centres on two women, Cate, an ambituous police constable and Alice, a university lecturer specialising in fairy tales. When a serial killer begins to leave victims posed like fairy tale characters, Cate, temporarily attached to the enquiry and desperate for a chance to move on, goes out on a limb to involve Alice in the investigation. Soon, though, she begins to have doubts. Alice, meanwhile, is conscious of danger as the stories she loves, but which have always been safely trapped in books, become real. And what does the mysterious blue bird signify? All Alice's stories exist in multiple, variant texts, and once you start to interpret them - or to interpret real events in light of them - it seems as though there are no rules, as though anything goes.

I enjoyed the way that Littlewood captures both main characters, including the rivalries and undercurrents among the police, Cate's desire to get on in her career and her relationship with her old mentor. There's a strong thread in the book, playing, of course, into the overt fairytale them, of parent-child relationships (good and bad) especially mothers and daughters. The book walks a narrow line between becoming merely a police procedural and tipping over into the outright weird. We always suspect there may be more here than a serial killer, yet at the same time the crimes are explored as crimes and aren't inexplicable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you like Grimm, then this is a similar vein of story - classic fairtale background with a modern twist. I found it took a while to get into (about 6 chapters) but then it was good. wouldnt say riveting but easy reading. bought is because of Alison Littlwood's debut novel, Cold Season, which was gripping from start to finish, couldnt put it down and a real twist at the end. have read it three times so far and still love it
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By DeeDee on 27 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having been recommended by Amazon thought I would give it a go as I had previously read Alison's 'Cold Season' which was very good, and I was not disappointed with this. This was a very novel idea and way of committing murders and the outcome was not a disappointment. Looking forward to Alison's next book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Where do I begin. This is the first book from Alison Littlewood I've read since the fairytale element grabbed me immediately. I love the dark area of fairytales, but this didn't really do it justice. I think Alison went on her own Path of Needles with this one. Alice as a character is a bit naiive and Cate is a tricky one. Is she just as dreamy as Alice or a serious policewoman? Hmmmmm...And I don't get the whole bird thing, it overcomplicated the story and wasn't needed. The ending was extremely disappointing, a burning house and that's it. The writing is very dull and repetitive, one page itself had 'she' at the beginning of every sentence and even following sentences, so a bit sloppy. I don't think she stayed on the path of what the book was supposed to be, the whole poisoned birds thing and magic and...just wasn't very well put together in my honest opinion. Started off well, but got too messy. Sorry!
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