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Book Review: Devil’s Day

Devil’s Day by Andrew Michael Hurley.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Devil’s Day is another masterpiece of folk horror fiction from Andrew Michael Hurley. Boiling the plot down to a single sentence, it’s the story of a man and his wife who return to his family farm for a funeral, and to help with preparations for an annual festival in advance of bringing their sheep down from the moors for winter.

There’s much more to it than that, including some sub-plots, and the usual folk horror tropes of superstition, tradition, a rural setting, breath-taking nature description, and a cast of expertly drawn characters to act out the story.

There is nothing I disliked about this book, and I count it as one of the finest I have ever read. For me, it resonates particularly strongly because I grew up not far from the area in which it’s set, and my own novel, A Different Path, is set in the same area, a few miles east.

Just superb.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Normal People

Normal People by Sally Rooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Normal People is the story of Marianne and Connell who grow up in a small town in the west of Ireland. The novel covers their relationship over four years as they finish school and go on to study at Trinity College in Dublin.

Reading about their lives and the way they are clearly in love with each other is frustrating, and at times I wanted to bang their heads together to help them see what is right in front of them.

The book is beautifully written, with great dialogue (even though there are no quotation marks), and the scene-setting descriptions are wonderful. The characters are engaging and as I reader I grew to care deeply about them over the course of the story.

The only thing I didn’t like, initially, was that lack of quotation marks, but as I got used to reading without them, I came to realise they aren’t actually that necessary.

I absolutely recommend this novel. Quiet and beautiful. Just superb.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Friend Request

Friend Request by Laura Marshall.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Friend Request is the story of a woman who receives a Facebook friend request from a girl she used to know at school. A girl who died twenty-five years ago.

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I loved the premise, and the sample I read through the Kindle app hooked me in within a few pages. Laura Marshall has a charming writing style that is easy to read but engaging and suspenseful at the same time.

I have tried to think of something I didn’t like about the novel, but I honestly can’t think of anything. Friend Request has the lot – a great premise, engaging prose, well-rounded characters, good scene-setting description, and a twisting, turning plot that was difficult to guess.

An accomplished debut novel that has made me eager to read more of Laura Marshall’s work. Recommended!

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