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.
Fletcher excels at infusing the mundane . . . with a slow-burning sense of unease * Guardian * Unsettling, horribly gripping and touched with genius * Daily Mail * An acutely unsettling folk horror with a superbly unreliable narrator * Metro * Terrifying, slow-burning, exquisitely wrought * Lancashire Evening Post * Fletcher has a most distinctive voice, and convinces me that there may be some truth at last in those rumours about a renaissance in British supernatural fiction. * Lisa Tuttle, The Times * A story with an air of menace throughout - and I loved it! It's dark, unsettling . . . I couldn't put it down. It really explores the human emotions of loss, of grief, of loneliness and of self-preservation, one of those really unsettling reads. A haunting, dark and twisty story * Books and Me * Daniel's traumatic back story makes it easy for the sceptic not just to accept but to enjoy and admire the supernatural element as projections from a deeply troubled mind. This gives the novel a political as well as a psychological edge, which I particularly appreciated. One of this year's favourite reads * Anne Goodwin, author of Sugar and Snails * A remarkable horror story with superb world-building. The scares doesn't just come from the supernatural. The book weaves the horrors of war and climate change into the larger narrative, merging fantasy and reality. It makes for a haunting and poignant read. Witch Bottle is an intense and atmospheric folk horror that leaves an arresting impression. Recommended! * Read by Dusk * I absolutely loved it. This book is the narrative equivalent of a "Magic Eye" painting - you know that there's more going on below the surface and try as you might to decipher exactly why it is, things keep shifting before your very eyes and the final picture eludes you right to the very end. And perhaps even afterwards . . . The perfect balance of a perfectly created fictional world and a realistic portrayal of an unsettling atmosphere and a wonderfully unreliable narrator. Dark, intriguing and profoundly unsettling * On the Shelf * Impressive . . . Tom Fletcher pulls it off with aplomb. Witch Bottle is both a great and beguiling read. I love atmospheric and slow-burning horror novels which are top-heavy with an undiagnosed sense of the supernatural. I found Witch Bottle tremendously entertaining and am very happy to recommend it * Gingernuts of Horror * The scenes where tangible manifestations impinge on the real world are more disturbing but Fletcher's articulate phrasing and rolling descriptions . . . never fails . . . when the twist of the blade comes it is sharp and buried suitably deep * Geek Chocolate * Literary horror at its finest * Bookkaz * Well written and extremely atmospheric . . . a very good read for the autumn/winter months. I really recommend you give this book a try * Purple Bookish Frog * Absolutely pitch-perfect literary horror, gorgeously written and paced, and blends its folk-horror and supernatural elements with an extremely fresh use of the cosmic * Sublime Horror * Fletcher expertly describes the creeping horror of the situation . . . an excellent novel * SciFi Online * An impressive book, a fusion of classic horror with a story of modern life and broken relationships which left me feeling deeply uneasy * Blue Book Balloon * This book is dark, gory and unlike anything else I have ever read before. It's brilliantly descriptive and really well written * Karen and Her Books * Fletcher's imagination is truly boundless * Avid Fantasy Reviews * A staggeringly brilliant, witty, scary and confident debut * Alan Kelly, 3 A.M. Magazine on The Leaping * Fletcher's Ravenglass invokes an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia . . . it's this gloomy sense of atmosphere with its overwhelming foreboding of something really, really nasty that's about to happen that makes The Ravenglass Eye such a compelling read * The Horror Hothouse * In my opinion Tom Fletcher is the most exciting new horror writer in years. * Mark Morris, author of The Winter Tree * Fletcher's fluid handling of his subject and the atmosphere he's imbued it with is magnificent. Thoroughly recommended. * Speculative Assessments on Gleam * Tom Fletcher is one of the most original and perceptive writers producing fiction in Britain today * Bookstove.com on The Thing on the Shore *
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