What a stitch- up!

SFX - - Reviews - Will Salmon

re­leased 28 April 384 pages | Hard­back/ ebook Author Thomas Olde Heu­velt Pub­lisher Hod­der & Stoughton

Ev­ery town has its fair

share of prob­lems: drugs, van­dal­ism, an undy­ing man­i­fes­ta­tion of an­cient evil haunt­ing the streets.

Okay, the last one is prob­a­bly re­stricted to Black Spring, the town at the cen­tre of Hex. Back in the 17th cen­tury, witch Kather­ine Van Wyler was pun­ished by hav­ing her eyes and mouth stitched shut and be­ing left to die. Her spec­tral pres­ence now lingers in the town. The lo­cals have grown used to her spec­tre, and an or­gan­i­sa­tion called HEX has been es­tab­lished to make sure that no one ever un­does those stitches and un­leashes Kather­ine’s dark pow­ers once more. Guess what some of the lo­cals are plan­ning...

Equal parts Stephen King and The Cabin In The Woods, Thomas Olde Heu­velt’s novel is a pop page- turner with an in­trigu­ingly weird am­bi­ence. Although he sub­verts Kather­ine’s men­ace with hu­mour – the lo­cal kids trip her up and place sun­glasses on her – it’s al­ways clear that they’re pok­ing a hor­net’s nest.

Some of the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion is sketchy and the prose suf­fers from the oc­ca­sional tone- deaf line, but that may well be down to the trans­la­tion from the Dutch. And it’s for­giv­able in such a funny, sur­pris­ing and eerie novel.

Want to try be­fore you buy? You can read the first chap­ter of Hex on­line at Tor. com: http://bit.ly/hex­chap­ter1.

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