Monday, November 4, 2013

Long Lankin

There's a secret buried in Bryers Guerdon.  It's been haunting this village for more than 400 years, taking children, destroying lives.  It's been asleep for decades, but now it's hunger has been awakened, and Long Lankin is hunting.

It's 1958, and Cora and Mimi have been sent to live with their Great Aunt Ida in the tiny village of Bryers Guerdon.  It's clear Auntie Ida doesn't want them.  Her reaction to their arrival is almost violent, and the girls are terrified by her ancient crumbling home with its locked doors and nailed shut windows.  But there is no where else to go.

Auntie Ida warns them against going out on the marshes, and especially to never go into All Hallows, the ancient nearly abandoned church and cemetery.  But local boys Pete and Roger tell the girls they go there all the time, even though they've been warned not to.  What could it hurt?
There are strange markings inside the church, and four-year-old Mimi wants to leave.   The older children enjoy the thrill of exploring the spooky old building and grounds until Cora thinks she sees someone watching.

Have the children unwittingly unleashed an ancient terror on the village?  No one wants to talk about it, but Cora knows something is wrong.  A monster is stalking the village, and the dead have returned to the world of the living.  Long Lankin is looking for another victim.

This slow boil of a horror story is truly creepy!  I couldn't put it down, and I couldn't go to sleep.  Pay attention, this is the kind of subtle thriller that is all in the details, and a true connoisseur of dark fantasy and classic horror will recognize the warning signs and sense the approach of the beast.  Read Lindsey Barraclough's debut novel if you aren't too afraid.

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