When millionaire Saul Abercrombie enlists the services of arboreal expert Tom Curtis to manage an ambitious project to return trees to an ancient woodland along the wild Pembrokeshire coast line, the fine balance between the forces good and evil are disturbed. Ancient forces long buried are unleashed and it soon becomes obvious that the woodland has much more to reveal.
The story gets off to rather slow start, but I feel that this is entirely in keeping with the way the author controls the narrative. With a rather subtle hand the tension starts to build and conflicts arise, not just between the characters, but also with whatever forces are being unleashed in the forest. The ancient woodland has much to reveal, and as most of its secrets are decidedly unpleasant, the sense of unease starts to creep up until it becomes impossible not to look at the branches of a willow or yew tree, and wonder...what if?
I have read a few of Cottam's books now and I am always impressed with the stealthy way he lets his story creep up on you, until almost without realising it, the story completely overwhelms. This is a perfect read for a wild winter night, but best read by a cosy fire with preferably something comforting close by....
My thanks to Netgalley and Severn House for my review copy of this book.