Between 1560 and 1690, over 500 women were tried for witchcraft in the county of Essex. In Syd Moore's chilling novel, journalist Sadie Asquisth researches a book on the subject and begins to experience strange, ghostly visions. By digging up the truth about the witch hunts, Sadie appears to have opened an unearthly connection to the women treated so cruelly and killed centuries before.If you like a good ghost story then you have to read this book. It has been a long time since a book has kept me awake at night but I could not get this story out of my head.
In the modern world, Sadie is sure she is being followed, her flat is burgled and she finds clues that reveal her own past isn't all that she believed. Can she find peace for the witches of Essex's history and can she find a safe path for herself?
Witch Hunt focuses on Sadie Asquith, she's a freelance journalist and begins investigating the Essex Witch trials in which over 500 women were tried and many lost their lives. Her research leads her to begin writing a book which looks at the character of Matthew Hopkins or The Witchfinder General as he was known. Sadie's research brings some shocking details to light and she knows that she's on to something highly significant. However, something is also on to Sadie, she begins having ghostly visions and encounters, her flat is burgled and the word 'desist' left behind. She realises she is in danger but who or what is trying to stop her and will she ever find any peace whilst these women's memories are so tarnished?
I read and enjoyed Syd Moore's other book, The Drowning Pool but I felt as though this was on a totally different level. Moore creates a sinister atmosphere which she sustains throughout; it felt very much as though I was reading a traditional ghost story in a modern day setting.
The presence of Matthew Hopkins in the book is highly sinister. Syd Moore constantly gives the reader accounts of the terrible deeds he carried out and even though he is dead, I felt as though he was highly threatening within the book, as if his memory alone could harm Sadie.
Sadie is a good character but there were times when I found her a little frustrating. She seemed to take a while to make connections between certain events and I found myself getting annoyed at times.
Witch Hunt is an atmospheric and gripping read. Just be warned that it will make you very aware of the things that go bump in the night!
Dot Scribbles Rating 4.5/5
Many thanks to the lovely people at Avon for sending me a copy of the book to review, Witch Hunt is available now!
If this review has interested you in the book then you may be in luck as the generous people at Avon have given me a copy to give away. Simply leave a comment on this post and the winner will be picked at random. This competition is open until midnight on Tuesday 9th October and is only open to UK residents. Good Luck!