Published by Angry Robot on November 8, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, folk horror
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Folk horror meets ancient gods in a remote snowbound Peak District town where several murders take place…---
In a lonely village in the Peak District, during the onset of a once-in-a-lifetime snow storm, Constable Ellie Cheetham finds a body. The man, a local ne'er-do-well, appears to have died in a tragic accident: he drank too much and froze to death.
But the facts don't add up: the dead man is clutching a knife in one hand, and there's evidence he was hiding from someone. Someone who watched him die. Stranger still, an odd mark has been drawn onto a stone beside his body. The next victims are two families on the outskirts of town. As the storm rises and the body count grows, Ellie realises she has a terrifying problem on her hands: someone – or some thing – is killing indiscriminately, attacking in the darkness and using the storm for cover.
The killer is circling ever closer to the village. The storm's getting worse... and the power's just gone out.
File Under: Folk Horror [ Small Town | Big Terror | Long Night | A Few Good Women ]
The Hollows is a fantastic exploration of good and evil. It’s a stark picture of folk tales and reality, like a Russian Doll the nightmares continue to keep revealing themselves.
Are you looking for a wintery read that gives you chills, not only from the seasonal weather but also from the chokehold of an ancient evil that begs to be awakened? If the answer is yes, then The Hollows by Daniel Church will be right up your street. The author proves that horror is a genre for any season, not just Halloween.
Horror is my lifeblood. I need it to continue breathing. Some people have shopping, some have gaming, and I have horror. I couldn’t imagine my life without those novels that make you think twice about whether that door was locked or whether you can risk sleeping with the light off. I’ve read so many books lately that offer that hit for me, but The Hollows was something unique, something so refreshing I sat stunned when that final page had been laid to rest. Usually, I can see twists coming but I was thrown for a loop with this one. The Peak District in my experience has been an underutilized location for horror but one that oozes with malintent (in the right light, of course.)
The Hollows is built around isolation and the dangers that come with the dark. Ellie, a small-town police officer is still dealing with the fallout from her own life falling apart – a grieving mother and the resulting collapse of her marriage has left her feeling without purpose, just going through the motions. The loss of her son has her wrapped up tight, the surrounding storm threatens to engulf her completely. The author captures this sense of emptiness beautifully.
A body is found – Tony Harper, a member of the infamous Harper family. Ellie finds him frozen in the snow. On first inspection, it appears that he didn’t make it home due to intoxication, but his dead body still grips a knife, a man in defense, but of what? There are strange markings etched in stone near his corpse and it puzzles Ellie who as a police officer always deals with facts. Meanwhile, the weather is closing in, and no roads in or out of this village are passable. She needs to make the dreaded trip to The Harpers family farm to deliver the news of Liz Harper’s son.
The Harper Family is a great structural support to the story arc. It brought more danger to the fray. They are unhinged, inbred, and care for only themselves, and then not all of them. Liz the Matriarch is a horror of a woman. She behaves disgustingly towards her only daughter, Jess. A young mother with young baby Joel, who has been fathered by dubious means. The other live wire is Keira, who is in a relationship with one of the sons. She’s trigger-happy and has had her eyes set on Ellie for a while. A menacing family that knows Tony’s death is the penultimate switch to far greater deeds to come, something their family bible has foretold.
The first night of carnage sees the destruction of the local pub, and many houses. Whoever did this takes the occupants because they vanish into thin air. The author gives you just enough information to be intrigued whilst spinning an event that will come to the fore in further chapters. It’s like small drops of rain falling on your window, he scatters hints as to where this is leading. The shadows are lurking awaiting the moment of glory. Ellie witnesses her world getting all the ever darker.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I grew up in Manchester, and I still live in the North of England, with the love of my life. I love nature, hills,, woods, forest, lakes, rivers, the sea and dogs.
I also write horror fiction.
I’ll tell you more about that soon.
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