The Hollows by Daniel Church is best described as folk horror. It’s a chilling tale that takes place in England’s Peak District. A huge winter storm has moved in right at Winter’s Solstice and the small village of Barsall is under siege. Unable to raise contact with neighboring villages – or anyone from the outside world for that matter – Constable Ellie Cheetham does what she can to protect the village. From what? I’ll let you read the book to discover that!
I felt a strong attachment to Ellie. She was a great strong female lead. My connection with her character may have been the fact that she was written to be very human in spite of her strength. She wasn’t overly bold or doing unbelievably heroic things. She had her own struggles and doubts. Her character grew a bit throughout the story, which I found endearing.
I found this book full of suspense. I read a lot of it on lunch breaks at work. It wasn’t easy to set it down and get back to work when my lunch time was over! Many scenes had my adrenaline up and gasping or talking to the characters. A few times my husband had to ask me, “the book?” to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with me.
In closing, there was a lot more going on in the pages of The Hollows than the main storyline. There were themes of community, belonging, family, and faith in something bigger than ourselves. There was some harm to animals – fair trigger warning there for those who need it. I ended up giving this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. This was a very strong novel right out of the gates for Daniel Church and I look forward to seeing what else he writes in the future.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Angry Robot, for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.