Sunday, 20 June 2021

The Hollows by Mark Edwards (review)

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: 8th July 2021

Format: Paperback [also available in eBook]

Price: £8.99

Reviewed by Amy Myers

Are you brave enough to visit Hollow Falls? Best-selling author Mark Edwards’ website throws out this challenge to his readers. I’m very glad I did visit it, although the characters in this thrilling new novel would certainly have chosen otherwise, given the chance. From his first psychological thriller in 2013, The Magpies, even the titles of Mark Edwards’ novels lay the ground for the creepiness and menace that lie ahead for the reader. The Hollows is no exception.

The author excels at creating and building up the scary horrors that affect ordinary people. When Tom Anderson comes over to the US from England to pick up his 14-year-old daughter Frankie from the home of his former wife for a 10-day vacation in a splendid New England resort nothing seems unusual about it. It seems to be meeting all their requirements, especially when they meet David and Connie Butler in the neighbouring cabin. Their 15-year-old son Ryan makes a good companion for Frankie. There is no internet connection, but why worry about that?

But then David learns a little more about Hollow Falls and the shadows that lie over it. Some years earlier a naked man and woman engaged in extra-marital sex had been found murdered, lying across a huge stone marked with pagan symbols.  No one has been charged with their murder because the chief suspect, Everett Miller, has disappeared. He is thought to be living in the thick woodland that divides Hollow Falls from the small town of Penance. Other than that murder, though, everything and everyone seems normal – even if the teenagers of Penance seem hostile to the newcomers. Normal? Far from it.

Mark Edwards controls the pace brilliantly. It builds and builds, seemingly slowly but never losing its grip on the reader. This is a thriller that truly thrills. Give yourself a holiday and read The Hollows – if you’re brave enough.

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