Near the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers sixteen horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen travels to the scene, the investigators soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community – disappearances, arson and mutilations – all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself.
In the dark days that follow, the town slips into panic and paranoia. Everything is not as it seems. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightening and insidious mysteries – no matter the cost.
One of my recent purchases, it was the striking cover that first caught my attention then the description pulled me in completely- Sixteen Horses pulls off a literary magic trick, it really is like nothing you’ve read before.
The descriptive sense of a small town declining fast is truly melancholic, against this backdrop a girl wakes up and stumbles across a truly horrific scene. The ensuing investigation and slow burn mystery is stunning in its complexity and beautifully achieved.
Greg Buchanan writes with an edgy, unnerving style, a seen from the corner of your eye feel to the story unfolding which is both haunting and incredibly powerful. There is no path of least resistance to this book, it creeps up in you in ways I can’t describe and in the end, when all is said and done, the almost dreamlike feel to the read will linger with you.
With gothic undertones, Sixteen Horses is part horror, part mystery and all encompassing, a truly excellent and unique debut and I can’t do anything other than highly recommend it.