A spine-chilling Irish horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine.
‘A dark, claustrophobic read’ – T. Kingfisher, author of Paladin’s Grance
You can’t see them. But they can see you.
This forest isn’t charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina’s is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.
Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn’t reach the bunker in time.
Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?
Perfect for fans of Francine Toon, Paul Tremblay and Andrew Michael Hurley.
This was such a darkly delicious read. I absolutely lost myself in The Watchers and it was every bit as spine chillingly original as I’d hoped. I absolutely could not wait to immerse myself in this book, as soon as I read the blurb. I was utterly delighted when I was invited onto the blog tourand could not wait to see what this unsettling read would present me with next…
Mina is a character that drags you into her story and forces you to witness the same terrors as she does that frames the narrative as we are plunged into the story and start to see things unravelling around her. Her life is not easy and you can absolutely understand why she might head off to Connemara to make some cash and escape from her circumstances. There’s one ting for sure – she won’t have been expecting to find what she does when she breaks down and faces the forest alone…
Just like all the best chilling reads, the austerity and beauty of the landscape and the sense of menace and detachment are a lethal combination and one I found totally hypnotic. A.M Shine’s sensitivity to language makes for a menacing and addictive reading experience. Mina’s every step into uncovering exactly what is going on is tense and perfect – you are very much under the spell of the writer as you follow the trail of breadcrumbs and uncover with Mina a great deal of things that might have been easier to have kept hidden.
Nina makes for such a memorable character: because she is so intelligent and shrewd, we absolutely buy into her quest to find out exactly what has is going on with the coop and unusually for a thriller you actually care when you sense danger around her that she is at first rather unaware of – which creates a satisfying tension as we try to anticipate when things will begin to come clear to her. Her determination to uncover the truth keeps you turning the pages as more and more unsettling truths begin to come to light. The reader develops a dawning sense that all os very much not what it fist might appear to be and Mina will need to keep her wits about her as she gets drawn deeper into situations where all that’s familiar begins to twist and then shatter before her very eyes…
A.M Shine really succeeds in keeping the reader on their toes and providing us with a lot of misdirection and elegantly constructed possibilities that kept me feverishly turning the pages long after my bedtime -and on a school night too! I was totally invested in the question of what exactly was going on as Mina got more and more out of her depth in trying to understand anyone’s true motives or what the truth behind the Watchers actually was. I hate giving spoilers, so I’m definitely avoiding too much detail about exactly what she manages to uncover in the dark shade of the fores– but I can promise you that you’ll not be able to stop reading, once you’ve started.
I’ve never been to Connemara but it’s most definitely on my bucket list and I loved the way that this tale allowed me to vicariously experience the austere beauty and some of it actually did remind me of my native country of Scotland. I read this in a single day, I was so fascinated by Mina and her journeyand I desperately wanted to know what was lurking beneath the surface once I’d begun reading. The plotting is skilful, the characters are wonderfully captured and the stunningly beautiful Setting allowed me a few moments of virtual travel from the comfort of my own garden.
This is a wholly satisfying read and I absolutely loved it. If you like your thrillers brutal and depraved, then this might not appeal to you – but if you enjoy a chilling and macabre read that will linger in your consciousness and unsettle youin a very original way, then you’ve come to the right place.
Thanks so much to Team Head of Zeus for inviting me aboard on the Blog Tour – It was definitely just the trip that I needed at a time when real-life travel seems still outside my grasp. I’d love to see this on the screen and I can already envisage the location and characters in my mind’s eye. I would absolutely love to see it brought to life before me…
Buy yourself a copy here so that you can pack your own bags virtually and experience the beauty of the setting in this perfectly chilling Autumnal tale for yourself. I can’t wait to see what A.M Shine does next…
Writer on the Shelf
A.M. Shine is a writer and advocate of the Gothic horror tradition. Born in Galway in the west of Ireland, there he received his Master Degree in History before sharpening his quill and pursuing all things literary and macabre. His stories have won the Word Hut and Bookers Corner prize. He has published two collections, Coldwood: the haunted man and other stories and 13 and is a member of the Irish Writers Centre. The Watchers is his first full-length novel.