Friday 28 August 2020

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver @will_carver @OrendaBooks #HintonHollowDeathTrip #BookReview #DSPace

It's a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone.

Evil had a plan.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 13 August 2020, and is the third in the Detective Sergeant Pace series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Did you know that evil smells like cinnamon?  According to Will Carver's Hinton Hollow Death Trip's narrator it does, and let's face it, that narrator should know,  because he is Evil.  I'm not talking about a person who does evil things, I'm talking about Evil as a character. I'm going to make Evil a male character, for ease, but you know, Evil comes in all forms. Evil is all around us, just waiting to brush by and leave its mark upon us ... we see it every day.

Whilst this is the third book in the DS Pace series, it's also a stand-alone story. Sure, if you've read the previous books, you'll know a little bit more about Pace, but honestly, Carver is clever, he makes sure that the reader know what sort of guy Pace is, and some of the things he's running from.

Running ... that's what Pace is doing. He's running away from the effects of the last traumatic case that he worked on, in London. He has run as far as Hinton Hollow, a small town with a population of 5120, for now ...
Hinton Hollow is a familiar place for Pace, and he's a well known figure there. It's the place in which he grew up, he's remembered by older residents as 'young Pace'. Returning home hasn't been an easy choice as he's also returning to memories that he's pushed away for many years, and he's going to be reminded of what happened years ago .. oh yes.

Pace hasn't returned alone. Evil has followed him and the ingenious and unique way of having Evil narrate this story is the ultimate catch here. This is not a story for the faint-hearted by any stretch of the imagination. If you like your novels with a bit of feel-good, with jolly characters who warm the cockles, then it's probably best that you look away, and Evil agrees with me. He tells his readers throughout that this is not going to be a nice story.

Murdered children, tortured animals, misogyny, greed, power and adultery haunt the pages of this book, but as Evil reminds us, it is not him that does this. No, Evil just gives humans a little hint, a small taste of what they are capable of, it is the characters who take it upon themselves to act upon it.
Throughout the story Evil reminds us of what the world has become; how humans pretend that they don't have the time to look after themselves, that stuffing junk food into their faces is easier than taking the time to care properly for their bodies. How we can spend hours online, liking things that make no sense, yet our elderly neighbour can be left alone, for weeks because we 'don't have the time' to make sure that they are OK.

Evil has come to Hinton Hollow and the town will never be the same again. Pace cannot escape Evil, he is followed constantly, tormented by the visions of black flames, and by memories that he cannot erase. It's an uncomfortable read at times, and that's not just because of the themes, it is the not-so-subtle narration by Evil that will make the reader think about themselves, and how they react to situations, how, even though they may consider themselves to be a good person, evil often flutters into their mind.

Hinton Hollow is not a place I'd ever want to visit, although my home town is probably very similar when I look closely. I guess I choose not to see it.

Will Carver's writing is superbly addictive. He is clever and different and honest. I doubt that you will have ever read anything like this before. He is original and he is experimental in a book world that can often be bland and stereotypical. We need more stories like this, we need more publishers to take a chance and publish ground-breaking material.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip ends with a bang. Totally unexpected, but on reflection, fitting.
All I can say is read it now, and then bring on the next book from this unorthodox and skilled writer.

Praise for Will Carver

'Cements Carver as one of the most exciting authors in Britain. After this, he'll have his own cult following' Daily Express

'Will Carver is an exhilarating and audacious new voice in literary crime fiction' Sarah Pinborough

'A new Will Carver novel is always something to look forward to, and this is no exception. Striking and unusual, and dark as ever' S J Watson

'Gobsmacking, beyond dark, and so much fun. I would join Will Carver's cult. He's the most original writer around ' Helen FitzGerald

'A novel so dark and creepy Stephen King will be jealous he didn't think of it first' Michael Wood

'One of the most compelling and original voices in crime fiction The whole thing feels like a shot of adrenaline' Alex North

'Twisty-turny and oh-so provocative, this is the type of book that will stick a sneaky foot out to trip you up' Liz Robinson, LoveReading

'Deliciously fresh and malevolent story-telling a laminate-you-to-your-chair, page-whirring dive into a small British town that is turned on its head over the course of a few days. If you like something fresh and unusual, grab this book' Craig Sisterson

'It's going to take something special to top this as my book of 2020. Original, thought provoking and highly recommended' Mark Tilbury

'Weirdly page-turning' Sunday Times

'Laying bare our 21st-century weaknesses and dilemmas, Carver has created a highly original state-of-the-nation novel' Literary Review

'Arguably the most original crime novel published this year' Independent

'At once fantastical and appallingly plausible this mesmeric novel paints a thought-provoking if depressing picture of modern life' Guardian

'This book is most memorable for its unrepentant darkness ' Telegraph

'Unlike anything else you'll read this year' Heat

'Utterly mesmerising ' Crime Monthly

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. 
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. 
He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. 
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. 

Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

Twitter @will_carver

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