My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finished this book on 27 July 2018. I’m still catching up on my reviews.
The blurb: Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to death on her own hearth – but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.
Albie begins to look into Lizzie’s death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the ‘Hidden People’ supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .
My review: What can I say about this book? I spotted the cover in the library and walked straight to the counter to borrow it. I had no idea what the story was about apart from the title “The Hidden People”. I was intrigued.
However, I almost gave up on the story. It started out slow and I couldn’t work out where it might go. I began to think I’d made a mistake when I was five chapters in and nothing appeared to really be happening and I couldn’t focus.
Then the story really began. And at that point, I was hooked.
There was something mystical and scary about the plot. But by no means was this a horror story. Albie loved his wife, or did he? Albie didn’t believe in fairies, or did he? Was the house really bad luck? Was he, in fact, going insane?
Whilst the beginning was slow, the rest of the book got its hooks into me and wouldn’t let go. Set in a tiny country village, where superstition is ripe and the village folk have many secrets, Albie attempts to solve the “murder” of his long lost cousin (who he has a bit of a fancy for). The deeper he delves, the more lost and confused he becomes.
Albie’s character is annoying is many ways. Most people would just give up and go home, hence ending the issues he is set to endure. But I suppose if he had done that, there wouldn’t be a story to write about. 😀
I believe the author captured the essence of the hidden people, the village, and Albie’s dilemma well. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but certainly would return for more of her writing.
And, as I actually listened to the audio book, I want to give a mention to the narrator, Paul McLaughlin. He did an excellent job and I feel his narration helped build the atmosphere.