A deeply atmospheric literary horror novel about the nature of repressed guilt, grief and fear.
Daniel once had a baby brother, but he died, a long time ago now. And he had a wife and a daughter, but that didn’t work out, so now he’s alone. The easy monotony of his job as a milkman in the remote northwest of England demands nothing from him other than dealing with unreasonable customer demands and the vagaries of his enigmatic boss.
But things are changing. Daniel’s started having nightmares, seeing things that can’t possibly be there – like the naked, emaciated giant with a black bag over its head which is so real he swears he could touch it . . . if he dared.
It’s not just at night bad things are happening, either, or just to him. Shaken and unnerved, he opens up to a local witch. She can’t t discern the origins of his haunting, but she can provide him with a protective ward – a witch-bottle – if, in return, he will deliver her products on his rounds.
But not everyone’s happy to find people meddling with witch-bottles. Things are about to get very unpleasant . . .
Witch Bottle is literary horror at its finest, perfect for fans of Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney and Starve Acre.
When Milly Reed messaged me to ask me about the Witch Bottle Blog Blast, I was literally ready to bite her hand off – this book has me written all over it. Having seen the cover and read the blurb I could not wait to read it and my excitement and anticipation was wholly justified as I absolutely loved it.
Let me tell you, Witch Bottle did not disappoint.
The cover reveal hinted at a dark and mysterious tale where everything is not quite as it seems and I’d have to say that the comparisons with The Loney are are well founded and if you enjoy Andrew Michael Hurley you will devour this dark and mysterious read
I read this in a single day, being utterly loath to drag myself away from the claustrophobic and intriguing world that Tom Fletcher draws you into. I love books that are even better than the one you’ve been anticipating and I have to say that this novel was absolutely compelling – this book is the narrative equivalent of a ‘Magic Eye’ painting – you know that there’s more going on below the surface and try as you might to decipher exactly why it is, things keep shifting before your very eyes and the final picture eludes you right to the very end. And perhaps even afterwards….
I think it’s difficult to make books with an eerie edge genuinely disturbing without seeming to try too hard or feel contrived – but Witch Bottle manages the perfect balance of a perfectly created fictional world and a realistic portrayal of an unsettling atmosphere and a wonderfully unreliable narrator.
I loved this novel and I’ll be recommending it to everyone who likes their novels dark, intriguing and profoundly unsettling Tom Fletcher is definitely a talent to watch and yet more confirmation that the British horror novel is firing on all cylinders. If you are looking for an unsettling winter read, you have come to the right place – order yourself a copy without delay
‘Fletcher…convinces me that there may be some truth at last in those rumours about a renaissance in British supernatural fiction’ The Times
About Witch Bottle:
‘A modern gothic stunner…terrifying, slow-burning, exquisitely wrought.’ Lancashire Evening Post
‘Fletcher excels at infusing the mundane…with a slow-burning sense of unease.’ The Guardian
‘An acutely unsettling folk horror with a superbly unreliable narrator.’ The Metro