Tuesday 12 November 2013

Shot Through The Heart by Ed James (review)

Ed James will be better known to his readers for the (quite excellent) Cullen books, a series of detective stories set in and around Edinburgh.

This latest from him moves him firmly into supernatural/ Hammer House of Horror territory - and, boy, has he done it well.

The story revolves around Mark Campbell who is writing a book on 'The Clearences' - not a good time in Scotlands history. Having a wife and new baby Mark uses an assistant to do some of his research but gets a call to say she is missing.

Mark goes up to the village of Ruthven to search for her but (as you may expect) all is not as it seems. Some of the villagers will talk to him, some won't, but there are certainly 'things afoot' in the Highlands of Scotland.

I do not want to give too much away so all I will say is, the book is very atmospheric and ramps up a lot of the tension by suggestion rather than blood and guts on every page. We see a man slowly seeming to fall slowly apart as he tries to come to terms with what is happening both to him and around him.

As I mentioned earlier, very much in the Hammer vein but also rather reminiscent of mid career James Herbert (when I felt he did his best work)

4 and 1/2 stars