Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.
My “thanks” (is that the correct word???) to the Hodderscape team for my review copy…and sleepless nights.
The book about The Witch.
The Creepy As Hell Witch that has haunted Black Spring for over 300 years.
Yeah – it’s a proper chiller. Eyes darting around the room, noises in the night, “what’s that behind me?” kind of creepy. It is everything you want from a horror story.
For generations the inhabitants of Black Spring have lived with The Witch. She moves around the town – appearing in their homes, drifting slowly down the main street or even lurking in the woods around the town. She is a terrifying sight to behold, her eyes and mouth are sewn shut (yet she tries to whisper so DON’T listen to her), her arms are chained by her side to restrict her movement and she must NEVER be touched.
But the townspeople are used to her and live their lives around her – The Witch is hidden in plain sight. With high tech surveillance equipment tracking her movements, a dedicated HEX team to enforce the town’s laws around keeping The Witch a secret. There is also a handy Army Base just down the road. It turns out that for the people of Black Spring living around The Witch is a necessary evil as once you have lived in Black Spring there is no getting away – residents are cursed to remain in the town, leaving brings consequences. Nasty consequences.
Keeping such a big secret will place a strain on everyone in town – particularly in this modern era where communication with the outside world is so easy. Black Spring is about to face it’s biggest challenge for many a year – someone wants to share the secret. Someone wants to defy the rules of the town and expose The Witch to the world. Someone is about to make a very big mistake.
It is a long time since I read a book which unsettled me as much as HEX. It is often terrifying as the author builds tension brilliantly. You cannot help be frustrated with the characters who are acting in such irresponsible ways that you know something ‘bad’ will happen.
Reading this book is highly recommended.
Reading it in a brightly lit room, surrounded by puppies or kittens while sitting with your back to the wall – also works!
HEX is published by Hodder and Stoughton and is currently available in hardback and digital formats. You can order a copy by clicking HERE.