Those who have visited the Somerset Levels will know what an eerie and atmospheric place it can be. Jennie Finch manages to capture the various moods of the land/waterscape beautifully, so much so that I was reminded of Hardy's famous prologue in 'Return of the Native'. Like Hardy, this author conjures up believable characters rooted in this seemingly timeless landscape, tied to the historic ways and means of eking out dubious livings from the natural resources available to them. Family feuds, gang warfare, and the settling of old scores amongst the locals are encountered by a dipsy Probation Officer trying to get to grips with living and working in rural Somerset. Even the (real) names of villages lend an air of mystery and intrigue (Westonzoyland). Once you pick this book up, it's hard to put down, the suspense building inexorably to a thrilling climax. This is a very impressive debut from a talented new writer, and I highly recommend it.