This book was reviewed for Crooked Cat Publishing via Netgalley
The Helland Reckoning, by Adrian Martin, begins on a frigid winter’s night with a car making its slow lonely way to Bowannack, in Helland. In the car is a fretful mother and her twin daughters. A collision with a deer is the start of a horrific dance with darkness for this small family.
Towed to their new home of Bowannack, Katie and her two girls- Sarah and Tegan- settle in for a night of indoor ‘camping’ in their furnitureless home. Before the sun should rise on their very first night in the new place Katie has been plunged into a mother’s worse nightmare. Sarah has gone missing.
Katie finds aid in the most unlikely of places, from a mysterious man named Michael, to the humble parish priest Father Tilsley. The Helland Reckoning is a story spanning generations; a story of evil incarnate, and the saving grace of family ties. It is a story that invites you to believe in the impossible.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Helland. It was a clever story, and I didn’t suss out Michael’s truth at all. It came rather as a surprise. I must also admit that I got quite wrapped up in it and someone walked up on me and scared the flying pixie stix out of me. My reaction (jumping a foot out of my chair and hiding behind the Kindle, like it could save me…) startled the poor woman almost as badly as I had been.
That being said, the story has room for lots of improvement. It is in need of a good copy-editor to partner with the author. A thorough grammar and spell-checking is in order. These things weren’t prevalent enough that it turned me off the story, but it is a good idea. There is also much material that could be trimmed, omitted, or rephrased. It would be greatly benefited by rather more showing than the telling that made the bulk of the story. Also, one technical point from a mudbug’s point of view- they seem to have been able to dig up not one, but two bodies out of frozen earth way too easily. Indeed, the fact they were even able to break ground at all is an astonishing feat, given the weather. I do look forward to seeing the author grow, and would most certainly read their next book.
🎻🎻🎻 Recommended for the connoisseur of horror and psychological/ paranormal thrillers, X-Files, and movies such as Poltergeist and The Hallow.