|Date Published||14 October 2021|
The Woman in the Woods
A mother with a new baby and toddler moves with her husband into an old house in the famously haunted Kent village of Pluckley. Is it just tiredness and baby blues that disturb her, or are there really the chilling remnants of a long-dead witch Allie finds out about at work in their home?
The problem is she is finding it hard to talk to him about what she is sensing, as he clearly doesn’t believe her. She does not know who she can turn to in their new village. Other mothers who attempt to be friendly make her more alienated, and then she discovers that Rav has been hiding the fact that their house is one of the most haunted in the village. To top it all, Allie finds messages from a friend of hers on his phone, and the fragile strands of trust that previously linked them seem to drop away.
This is a story in which the ghostly presence is ever-present and the hair stands up on Allie’s neck as the unexplained noises, dreams and urges continue unabated. It proceeds at a gallop, whisking the reader along with it.
There is sympathetic understanding in the writing with Allie’s exhaustion and her turning against those who try to be her friends. It is a very ghostly story, and the denouement is well told. There are a couple of big twists that I didn’t see coming, which was satisfying, and the story builds momentum with the turn of each page. I’m sure that Lisa Hall’s fans will finish this one with a sigh of satisfaction.
Reviewed 22 July 2022 by Kerry Hood
Kerry Hood has worked in publishing for many years and lived in London for just as many, but suspects her heart is in the country.