Huge thank you to Rachel over at Rachelsrandomresources for inviting me to take part in the one day #BlogBlitz for M. Sean Coleman’s “The Cuckoo Wood”. What a delightfully dark tale!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
A THRILLING, MELODICALLY CREEPY MYSTERY.
Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.
A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?
That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.
Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.
The Cuckoo Wood is the first Alex Ripley Mystery
Wow, what a vivid and visual opening to a novel. The description in the first two chapters really drew me into the landscape and the plot. Rich elements of nature combined with a ghostly quality as two young girls complete suicide in an insular community totally enveloped in its faith. However, there is little empathy or tolerance in this faith and families find themselves shunned at their daughter’s rejection of God.
Dr. Alex Ripley, coined The Miracle Detective, specialises in investigating alleged miracles and divine interventions. Her work has brought her into conflict with many throughout her career. Will she be able to find a logical reason for the sinister goings-on in the village or is there something darker at play?
It was emotive, dark and ghostly. As I read I couldn’t help feeling aggrieved at the attitude of the parents towards their children and how faith was being abused in this manner. The dark woods, abandoned buildings, suicide pacts, and a mesmerising lake and a strangely devout/religious/ faith-based community all worked together to make this one of those books that you just want to read as you are be sitting in an old house in front of a roaring fire with the weather whipping up a storm outside but just make sure you’re not on your own!
Past and present collide in this atmospheric and chilling tale of village life. This was a perfect palate cleanser from my usual crime reads, a real gothic psychological thriller with all the elements of a fabulous ghost story with a sense of realism about it too if that makes sense? I was completely caught up and engrossed in this read, an excellent start to what promises to be an intriguing series.
The Cuckoo Wood is available to purchase from:
About the author:
Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, I developed a love for reading and writing novels in my early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected me with their love of fiction. Over the intervening years, I have written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook, and even a graphic novel series.
I finally found my niche as a thriller writer when I was asked to write a novel as part of the larger cross-platform project, Netwars. My first book, The Code, was published six months later, with its sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. I was hooked. I continue to write novels from my home in The Cotswolds.