An utterly un-put-down-able debut from a talent to keep a look out for.
James Dawson’s Hollow Pike combines the rich tale of witchcraft in a sleepy English village with the brutal reality of bullying in everyday school life. The plot twists are under tight control, and the action is non-stop. The central character, Lis, has left her home in Bangor to live with her older sister due to atrocious bullying. From the beginning we can see that Lis is very intuitive, but is there more to the intuition than just Lis’s dreams.
The use of the history of witchcraft woven into the plot adds depth to the storyline, centralised around the legends of witchcraft in Hollow Pike and casting suspicion on all the characters. When a fellow classmate and bully is ritualistically murdered, the tales of witchcraft take on a whole new meaning. The characterisations are quirky; each character is unique in their own right and their interactions are a constant source of diversion when trying to identify the murderer. The atmospheric tension, fantastic use of metaphor and humourous pop culture references create a compelling storyline.