Book Review: The Ravenglass Eye / Author: Tom Fletcher / Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books / Release Date: Out Now
The narrator of this quirky shocker is Edie, chef of The Tup, a family pub in the village of Ravenglass, in gloomily picturesque Cumbria. When she isn't serving up cooked breakfasts and steak and chips, she tends to keep to herself, politely fending off advances from local suitors. Because Edie harbours a secret – she has the Eye, the ability to see visions.
Then she accidentally awakens an evil spirit lurking inside an ancient stone circle, and it proposes a deal – a small quantity of her blood, in exchange for greatly enhanced powers. What makes the offer tempting is that Edie is pretty sure that one of The Tup's regulars is a murderer, and she longs to know for sure.
Predictably enough, things soon get out of hand as the bloodthirty demon flexes its muscles. The strength of the book is in the initial setup, with its cosy pub chatter and rain-sodden rural landscapes. Also very appealing is Edie herself, an independent-spirited ladette with a troubled heart. Fletcher writes with an engagingly light touch, in an artfully meandering style which reflects Edie's numb, perplexed state of mind. Throw in a very earthy brand of weirdness – as when an elderly local farmer, a forlorn widower, confesses to having kinky orgies with some oversexed local fae – and you have a book which isn't entirely successful but which at least tries to do something different with the horror genre.