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Blood Harvest (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. April 2018
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"Bolton knows precisely how to ratchet up the tension and tell a cracking story" (Guardian)
"Bolton has already made a considerable name for herself with her well-crafted, original and spooky crime thrillers" (Daily Mail)
"Frisson-generating... dark, psychological crime" (Independent)
"Blood Harvest is the book I wish I could have written. Heart-stopping, bone-chilling, and deliciously written. S.J. Bolton is a thriller star" (CHELSEA CAIN)
"Bolton excels... a mystery that twines its way to the secretive, rotten heart of the village" (Observer)
A bone-chilling, twisty thriller, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Mo HayderAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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Weird note--in such a mysterious, eerie book, there is some mighty cute banter between two of the characters that made me laugh.
The stories premise is rather simple. Newcomers move into a small village high in the English moors. Among them is a young Vicar who is sent to reopen the local church and there is also a family that builds a new house next to the church consisting of a husband, wife and three children. Someone who appears as a vision of a dead girl killed in a fire tries to warn the family to leave the village. This she does by only communicating with the newly arrived children. Someone is not too happy to have the Vicar reopening the church either.
Bolton writes with short chapters and changes perspectives telling the story partly through a 10 year old boy, partly by the Vicker, and partly by a woman psychiatrist, Evi who teams up with the Vicar in trying to unravel the village’s secrets. It is all very effective and very atmospheric although not really a Gothic or ghost story. It is more of a character study and of course very much a “who done it” (or a “what is happening”). The ending is exciting, complex, and maybe a bit over the top. But it all works so long as you’re not disturbed by the child endangerment plot twists.they are all extremely well written. Her latest, LITTLE BLACK LIES which takes place on the Falkland Islands is my favorite although I also have enjoyed all her Lacy Flint inspector series. Blood Harvest is Bolton’s third book and many of its story elements can be found in her later books. Mainly the subject of child endangerment specifically children lost, killed, or separated from their parents. This is not a subject I would normally find entertaining or worthy of my attention. Before reading Bolton I saw such plots as manipulative. After all what reader would not empathize with an adult who lost a child or had one murdered, or even worse… just disappeared. And here in Blood Harvest we have the discovery of three young girl’s bodies all found in a washed out grave in an old village church graveyard.
What got me interested in reading this book was a post on Bolton’s web page asking readers to submit ideas for casting Blood Harvest. Apparently it is being produced as a TV mini-series or film. I think it could make a great project as Bolton has created some very interesting characters and a complex plot that should play well to those lovers of English mysteries. (I also think there may be another story that could feature the Vicar and Evi.)
A new family moves into the old village of Heptonclough, building a fine house in the land between two churches. At about the same time, a new vicar reopens one of the churches, which has been shut down for years. It's the beginning of fall, and a series of harvest rituals begin in the village. We meet many of the townspeople, including the psychiatrist caring for several of them. Events unfold involving past murders of young children, a mysterious figure, ghost-like occurrences, and threats to the current young children living in the new house by the church. The action is gripping, the characters interesting, and the writing nicely nuanced. Take, for example, the vicar's nervous assessment of a troubled parishioner:
"She looked up at hi then and he fought a temptation to pull back. For a second the look in her eyes had scared him, had made him think that something essential inside her had slipped out the back way."
As always, there is humor among the tension. For instance, the vicar has a hard time remembering names, and after struggling to recall the first name of one of the police officers he has just met (Dave? Steve?), he is amazed to learn that the man's name is actually Jove. We read his asides, during a long discussion of evidence and crime, about the notion that this very ordinary Lancashire fellow is named for the god of sky and thunder. It's exactly the kind of detail that Bolton excels at: reminding us that these are real people and that not every moment of anyone's life is concerned with matters at hand, no matter how urgent those matters are.
Blood Harvest is resolved satisfactorily, and has a few nice twists. I tend to read Bolton as much for the characters and setting as for the mystery, myself. If you like Elly Griffiths, I predict you will love Bolton, and Blood Harvest is a good one to start with. Highly recommended.