Bone Harvest by James Brogden

It’s our opinion that James Brogden is the greatest living writer of folk horror in the UK. We loved his previous books Hekla’s Children, The Hollow Tree and The Plague Stones, but we think his latest novel Bone Harvest is the best yet.

Dennie lives on the outskirts of a Staffordshire town with Viggo her great Dane. Her husband dead and her children grown up and moved away, Dennie spends much of her time on her allotment. Only the allotment holds a dark secret because its the place where Dennie helped her neighbour Sarah to hide her abusive husband’s corpse. Now twelve years after Sarah died in prison three strangers take on Sarah’s plot. At first everything seems fine, Ardwyn, Everett and the beast like Gar work hard at their plot, but things start to get weird after they invite the other plot holders to a pig roast. Plants bloom early, shadowy figures prowl the allotment at night and the people who ate the ‘pork’ seem miraculously revived as old ailments and disabilities vanish. Then some of them begin to disappear around the time of the full moon. To make things even stranger the ghost of Sarah starts to visit Dennie bringing dire warnings of things to come. What’s Dennie to do and with the onset of dementia who is going to believe her.

I loved Bone Harvest, Brogden injects an intricately evolved ancient mythology into what on the face of it seems to be a normal mundane Midlands town populated with well developed and mostly ordinary people, but many of them harbour dreadful secrets. Dennie is a really interesting character with many people ready to cast her aside as just a mad old lady, but as the plot unwinds Brogden maintains an utterly compelling sense of foreboding and menace as Dennie seeks to find allies who she can trust to help combat the ancient evil that her new neighbours are about to unleash on her world.

Compellingly fascinating we give Bone Harvest a 666/666.

Bone Harvest is out now from our good friends at Titan Books £8.99 UK/ $14.99 USA/ $14.95 Canada.

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