When I was hunting around for an atmospheric, spooky book, this was recommended to me by someone in a group on Facebook. I was really pleased by the recommendation as I had read Drowning Pool earlier in the year and totally loved it! Also, at just 99p on Kindle, what could there possibly be to lose?
Sadie Asquith is a proud Essex Girl (and why the bloody hell wouldn’t she be?!) and has long been fascinated by the dark history of the Essex witch hunts led by the notorious and self-titled Witch-Finder General Matthew Hopkins during the English Civil War.
Between 1560 and 1680, more than 500 women in essex were tried for witchcraft, and as we know, most were found guilty due to the nature of these tests.
When Sadie agrees to delve deeper into the history of Hopkins and the Essex ‘witches’, she feels that it may be just what she needs to keep herself busy in the months after her mother’s death, but when she starts experiencing things that she can’t explain, she wonders whether she should have left the past well alone!
Being an Essex girl myself, I especially loved this book. It was really like getting a sub-conscious history lesson. the story was rich enough, and the facts about Hopkins and the witch trials were so expertly weaved into it that it was fascinating as well as entertaining, and yes, spooky enough to satisfy me. Syd Moore really does have a good way of weaving the supernatural into every day life, leaving you wondering what the creaks and groans of your own house could possibly be once you turn off the light.
I was especially excited by the book as Hopkins’ base during this time was the wonderful Mistley Thorn, that I stayed in last year! We had read a couple of information points about Hopkins around the town, but I hadn’t realised that The Thorn had been his base during his years in Essex – and having had the best room in the house, I now wonder whether we had slept in the same space as him! I now want to go back and stay there again (it really is a gorgeous little town and wonderful B&B with a great restaurant, so I highly recommend it anyway!)
It was a brilliant book, there was a great feeling of girl power running through it – and it really is horrific how so many women were killed in the name of religion through just pure ignorance. An excellent, entertaining and informative read!