Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Hob and the Deerman by Pat Walsh

The Hob and the Deerman
The hob stood by the entrance to his burrow and sniffed the air. The autumn breeze ruffled his fur with its chilly fingers, making him shiver. Dusk was settling and a few early stars glimmered in the darkening sky above the forest. The old oak tree, amongst whose roots his burrow lay, spoke tree words into his mind.
A storm is coming little hob.  Stay close in your burrow this night.
Available on Amazon for Kindle 
Paperback 196 pages
Summary from Pat Walsh’s website
Crowfield Abbey is a place of ghosts and shadows, secrets and lost souls.
When Brother Walter the hob returns to the abbey, it is not as he remembered it. Old friends are long gone, and even the wall paintings and stone carvings are disappearing, one by one. The empty rooms and cloister are haunted by the evil spirit of a crawling man and a ghostly girl waits in vain for her long dead father to come for her.
Who is the mysterious Deerman, and why does it come to the abbey in the dead hours of the night?
And why does the old Cold Fair still appear on the village green each year?
The hob has old wrongs to put right and mysteries to untangle, but time is running out and the crawling man is coming for him…
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This is the first of Pat Walsh’s Hob Tales available in e-book or print. Those who like me loved the Crowfield books will be delighted to read more of Brother Walter’s adventures.
It doesn’t spoil this lovely book if you haven’t read the other stories – but it will add depth. It’s hard to review without giving spoilers but if you love magic and history and nature all woven together with a thread of scariness to bring out the colours, then this is for you.
There are ghosts – some of whom are a delight – and a lovely use of folklore. You will cheer when a certain hateful character gets his come-uppance, and maybe shed a tear or two when someone else gets their dearest wish. 
The countryside is somewhere you believe you can walk through, it’s so well-portrayed. As well as beauty and some horror and eeriness, there’s humour too. Ideal for an independent reader who likes a properly satisfying ending. It would be great to read aloud. 
I hope there will be plenty more Hob books – and please can we have a third Crowfield story?

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