The Hollows by Daniel Church

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.

A small village nestled deep in the Peak District. A body found frozen in the snow, and a storm on the way. The village is cut off, the lights start going out, and something out there is hungry…

Blimey, this book grabs you from the opening and doesn’t let go. It’s often brutal, very scary and utterly relentless. Ellie is a part of the very tiny police presence in the village, and whilst life is usually pretty quiet, things start going very wrong very quickly after the body is found. Throw in the local troublemaker family who the dead man was part of, and Ellie is suddenly having a very very bad day. And the sun is starting to set, and as Newt says in Aliens, they mostly come out at night. Mostly…

The horror lurks around the edges of the village as glimpses, slowly revealing itself. But there’s some pretty horrific stuff happening in the house of the dead man. The Harper family are a mightily unpleasant bunch, and at times I found myself rooting for them to meet their just rewards!

Overall, a good solid decently scary in places read with a great monster. If I have any criticism, it did drag a little in the middle for me, and could have been a bit tighter, but I enjoyed it. Well worth checking out if horror is your thing.

Just remember to lock the doors and windows…

The Hollows by Daniel Church is published by Angry Robot and is out now.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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