Hallowdene is the follow up to the brilliant Wychwood which I reviewed last year. It's the second in Goerge Mann's new series of crime/horror/urban fantasy novels. I talked to the author about this new series when Wychwood was released, you can read the interview HERE In this instalment Elspeth has begun to really settle into her new life in rural Oxfordshire and a relationship with childhood friend Peter. However temptation arrives in the form of old friend Abigail and a London job offer.
The mystery this time around begins when the grave of a woman tried for witchcraft in the Seventeenth century is excavated by archaeologists on the grounds of Hallowdene manor. Many local people are intrigued by the mysterious tale of the witch Agnes Levett; to some she is a curiosity a way to attract tourists to the town, a bit of fun. To others she is a malevolent spirit and the act of disturbing her grave a very dangerous one. The excavation attracts a lot of attention. Agnes had been buried under a huge stone to prevent her spirit from harming the villagers when the stone is removed and her body disturbed a series of suspicious deaths begin. Peter and Elspeth investigate and wonder if the killer is supernatural or all too human. This is a a compelling and page turning tale, carefully blending crime and horror. A great read for Halloween and for fans of Elly Griffiths, Syd More and Gary Kemble. Thanks so much to Titan Books for my copy. You can pick up Hallowdene in e-book and paperback now.