“I tried to keep my excitement in check, but it was hard. Because when you’ve been starved of hope for so long, it’s hard not to snatch at it when you see it dangled before you.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I’ve been highly anticipating The Hollows as I’m a big fan of Mark Edwards‘ writing, and his newest story has once again confirmed to me why he is one of my favorite thriller authors. It was literally hook, line and sinker as soon as I started reading the first chapter, and I kept turning page after page as I simply couldn’t stop reading. Suspenseful, twisted, highly engaging and with a hint of the occult: this story isn’t afraid to go dark while keeping you entertained you along the way. Without doubt a new favorite!
The first thing that stands out is the setting, which is both perfectly described and sets the perfect eerie tone for this story. The new resort surrounded by the woods with a dark history, the ritualistic double murder that took place there almost twenty years ago, the small seemingly deserted town of Penance with its ominous feel, the woods themselves… They all help setting the right atmosphere and backdrop for the plot, and definitely help this story dipping its toe in the horror genre. The same goes for the references to the occult, the supernatural and the strange things happening in and around the resort, which only highten the creepy atmosphere. It’s without doubt part of the reason this story worked so well for me!
The writing was once again spot on and I couldn’t help but devour page after page. The plot itself is brilliantly designed and developed, with lots of twists to keep you busy along the way… The building up of tension and suspense is well handled as the story slowly works towards those final escalations and reveals. Oh yes, The Hollows is definitely one of those stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Like I said before, rather than the dark psychological thriller genre of his previous two books, this one is more a crime thriller that dips its toes in the horror genre… And SO good if you can stomach the more graphic scenes and violence among other things.
The story is told mainly using a dual POV structure, switching between music journalist Tom and his daughter Frankie. The two POVs complement each other perfectly and are used to help describe what is happening during their time at the resort. We also get glimpses inside the head of the killer and flashbacks to the past; especially towards the end as we slowly discover the truth about past and present events. The characters themselves were interesting enough, although I did feel there was more focus on the plot and actions than an extensive development. That said, I personally wasn’t that bothered by it as I was too busy trying to figure out what was really going on.
In short, The Hollows turned out to be yet another fantastic story that is both highly suspenseful, twisted and simply addictive. I love that we have a dark crime thriller with a horror vibe this time around, and the hints at the occult only enhanced the reading experience for me. Without doubt a winner if you enjoy the genre! I simply couldn’t stop reading it once I started the first page.