Page Count 400/ POV Multiple 3rd
Publication date March 2018/ Publisher Titan Books
Price £3.79 Purchased From: Amazon Kindle (23/03/18)
“WHO DANCED WITH MARY BEFORE SHE DIED?
After her hand is amputated following a tragic accident, Rachel Cooper suffers vivid nightmares of a woman imprisoned in the trunk of a hollow tree, screaming for help. When she begins to experience phantom sensations of leaves and earth with her lost hand, Rachel is terrified she is going mad… but then another hand takes hers, and the trapped woman is pulled into our world. She has no idea who she is, but Rachel can’t help but think of the mystery of Oak Mary, a female corpse found in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three urban legends have grown up around the case; was Mary a Nazi spy, a prostitute or a gypsy witch? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn’t belong…”
After the loss of her hand in a freak boating accident Rachel develops an eerie new ability and with it comes curiosity, responsibility and danger.
This was my second read by James Brogden and I wasn’t disappointed. What I love about his work is the imagination and originality I find in the plot, I always give major points to any book that can surprise me. The ride is more enjoyable when I don’t know where I’m headed, (whilst reading that is, not so much in life itself!)
I found this book to be plot driven, there’s no time to catch your breath between events, which is perfect for me. Whilst I felt Tom- the husband- was just a requirement for plot advancement (Rachel’s sounding board, chauffeur and homestead), and her mother irritating (I’m quite sure that was intentional), I did very much enjoy Annabel the gypsy witch and Mary’s ‘three deaths’. Each of the three urban legends is brilliantly written and gives the perfect amount of character development, I loved bouncing back and forth through time seeing the same location described in different eras.
Brogden writes fresh terrors with their own in-depth backstories of lore woven seamlessly into the storyline. There’s no info dumping, just a comfortably paced understanding of the world as it’s built around you.
The Hollow Tree is a voyage into the unknown with a secret at its roots that you didn’t even think to look for.