Richard and Juliette are grieving the sudden loss of their five-year-old son, Ewan. In this fabulous spooky, creepy and haunting story, you quietly learn what has happened to Ewan to bring them to where they are in present day. As such, the story becomes more disturbing.

Starve Acre should have offered a remote and beautiful place to live, but it is steeped in folklore about death as well as ominous goings on.

Both are dealing with grief in their own way. Neither is coping brilliantly well. Their despair and hollowness are palpable. It is apparent they will never be quite the same again. Isolated and failing to connect, the impact of this has a chilling impact. After a medium visits them no one is the same again.

Being a novella it gets into the story and characters quickly. Even so, the pacing and character development are excellent. The dialogue is layered and loaded with poetic and hidden meaning. There is tension with an underlying supernatural twist, so you feel a sense of impending doom at the turn of every page.

Haunting, melancholic, eerie and thoroughly absorbing. It is extremely difficult to put down. The end is odd and satisfying horrifying. A true atmospheric and gothic horror to be completely enjoyed.

Sara Garland 5/4

Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
John Murray 9781529387261 hbk Oct 2019