Hello and welcome to my post for the Blog Blast today to help share the love for this rather creepy and haunting read from Tom Fletcher. My thanks to the author and Milly Reid for the copy of the book!
Here’s a little bit about the book before my review….
A deeply atmospheric literary horror novel about the nature of repressed guilt, grief and fear.
Daniel once had a baby brother, but he died, a long time ago now. And he had a wife and a daughter, but that didn’t work out, so now he’s alone. The easy monotony of his job as a milkman in the remote northwest of England demands nothing from him other than dealing with unreasonable customer demands and the vagaries of his enigmatic boss.
But things are changing. Daniel’s started having nightmares, seeing things that can’t possibly be there – like the naked, emaciated giant with a black bag over its head which is so real he swears he could touch it . . . if he dared.
It’s not just at night bad things are happening, either, or just to him. Shaken and unnerved, he opens up to a local witch. She can’t t discern the origins of his haunting, but she can provide him with a protective ward – a witch-bottle – if, in return, he will deliver her products on his rounds.
But not everyone’s happy to find people meddling with witch-bottles. Things are about to get very unpleasant . . .
Witch Bottle is literary horror at its finest, perfect for fans of Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney and Starve Acre.
Published by Jo Fletcher Books
This is a a story with an air of menace throughout – and I loved it! It’s dark, unsettling and liable to take you on a very dark journey! It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and was really unsettling and I think that’s why I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.
It really explores the human emotion of loss, of grief, of loneliness and of self preservation. Those times when you need to take yourself off and be by yourself, and when you push others away in your times of need as you’re in fear of hurting those you love. The main character, Daniel, a milkman, is just one of those people who has faced tragedy in his life, and while trying to get his life back on track he encounters a local witch who he comes to see as a ray of light in these darker times, but she’s involved in making ‘witch bottles’ which are supposed to protect people from nightmares and harm….not all those in the area are as understanding as he is of ‘witchy’ ways so more strange things begin to happen and there seems no escape from them.
This is a really different read – there’s a lot of time devoted to the milk round he is on as it becomes his life. Out on the road by himself, spending too much time in his own head and the strange things he encounters along the way. It’s not a scream out loud horror, but it’s one of those really unsettling reads that you never quite know just where it is going to take you.
The more you learn about Daniel and his past, the more you begin to understand his current state of mind. I sometimes even wanted just a bit more shock from the story as it was often a bit of a slow burn. That didn’t distract from the overall feel of the story as it was just so different from my recent reads, and nothing prepares you for the twists and turns along the way!!
I really did enjoy the contrasts of his normality – the daily milkround – alongside the darker struggles he faced daily. Seeing how those traumatic events from his past had taken their toll on him was the chilling aspect of the story.
A haunting, dark and twisty story!!