THE SUM OF YOUR FLESH by the epic Beverley Lee.
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Here we follow Haven Ford, a man who arrives in a small insular village on a quest to help his friend’s brother. Rafferty Henderson is a boy persecuted for a fate laid by his ancestor. Meredith Evans is returning to her roots to unearth a childhood terror. Their lives entwine, twist, and drown in a chilling tale of secrets and bloodlines.
As ever, Beverley Lee has done it again. There is no doubt of my fandom, but this one was a surprise, even to me. Perhaps this was because I thought I knew what I would find within its page. But with each page turn, each new chapter grew a tale far darker, deeper, and more glorious than I had hoped. The characters are fleshy, complicated and authentic in a setting that feels its own personality, dark, ominous and full of hidden secrets, fear and persecution. I do not easily squirm, but I have to say there were moments of sheer terror here, so brilliantly done but utterly horrifying, with an ending that was both raw and emotional.
Beverley Lee is a master of quiet horror. It is not gratuitous but subtle and sublime. Her words slither under your skin, settle into your bones and inhabit your mind. She finds your inner nightmares and carves them into the story as if it is created just for you.
This will be a book reread; no doubt there will be those sublime lines of prose I missed the first time, and probably my favourite of the author’s standalone novels.