The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling Victorian mystery - where superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences.
Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to death on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists?
Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.
Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the 'Hidden People' supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .Littlewood does a great job
'This is an intriguing and unsettling scenario. Littlewood's descriptions are picturesque and her prose convincingly dated and beautifully lyrical' - Sunday Express
writing in a quasi-Victorian manner throughout and the twist is brilliantSuitably strange with a twist
This is an intriguing and unsettling
scenario. Littlewood's descriptions are picturesque
and her prose convincingly dated and beautifully lyricalHypnotic and intelligent with buckets of atmosphere
. . . Littlewood expertly weaves themes of misogyny and mythology into a psychological page-turner that feels both familiar and fresh
This magical murder-mystery
blends the supernatural with the psychological ... surprising, moving and rewarding
A skilful blend of the supernatural and the psychological
. . . If you enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke and the Woman in Blac
k by Susan Hill, this is one for you
A sense of tension
makes The Hidden People deeply uneasy reading
, and it's to Littlewood's credit that she sustains this uncertainty so cleverly, without landing on one explanation or the other till the whole of her tremendous tale
is told . . . As mesmerising as it is magical
, and as quickening as it is at times sickening
, The Hidden People
is, at the last, an excellent successor to Littlewood's darkly-sparkling debut
The novel has a strange and dreamlike quality
to it, almost as if a fog is hanging over the town, and when combined with the bizarre townsfolk
and the disturbing mystery
at its center, it makes for a book that disturbs the reader as new dimensions unfold piece by piece
Littlewood weaves a plot that's as complex as any contemporary thrille
r, made more labyrinthine by the supernatural elements; a tense atmosphere permeates the novel
, growing in strength to become more disturbing with each passing chapter . . . Anyone expecting a gore-fest or a fairy apocalypse will be disappointed, but for those wanting to observe how subtle psychological horror can be,
how the deepest fears can be contained in the smallest of actions, and that the gothic novel is still incredibly powerful
even in these modern times, this is the book for them.A dark Victorian gothic murder-mystery
novel with a chillingly authentic feel
Definitely ticks all the boxes . . . a brilliant story full of mystery, murder and intrigueThe Hidden People deftly drops readers into a bygone world
where wise women dabble in foretelling the future and sharing herbal concoctions; hobgoblins, changelings and fairies are evident, if you know how to look; and folktales and fantasies can pervade the mind
, bringing on delusions and misconceptions that threaten to overwhelm even the most logically minded soulAn enjoyable, dark tale.
It is an intriguing Victorian murder mystery filled with interesting themes surrounding folklore and superstition
in the 19th century, along with some unforgettable characters
Perfect . . . a story that's exquisitely unsettling
Alison Littlewood is one of the brightest stars in the horror genre
at the moment . . . The Hidden People
is impeccably written, quiet, evocative horror
. It's yet another must buy
from Littlewood.The atmosphere Alison Littlewood conjures up in The Hidden People
and there's a real sense of foreboding
, you feel the fairies might show themselves at any moment.A brilliant novel
The time and place are evoked with exquisite minute detail
that I was swept up in it all - never has the phrase ' away with the fairies" seemed more apt
The time stops completely
, as a reader you're forced to take in all the sounds and sights
...You'll constantly question who's bonkers and whether you'll actually meet a real fairy in the story . . . If it wasn't published in October 2016 but rather in early 1900s, it would easily be one of the classics now.[Littlewood] writes the books I love
- fairy tales, folklore and mystery all seamlessly woven togetherThe story is utterly atmospheric
, full of the kind of beautiful, exquisite
detail that slowly creeps up on you. Littlewood also writes wonderfully
and has a flair for bringing a historical setting to lifeBeautifully atmospheric
. It's not so much shock-and-awe jump-scare horror as a slow, creeping buildup of wrongness
that she creates by subtly weaving together details. She paints a vivid picture of Halfoak
, and then starts to tear it apart, bit by bit.A meticulously imagined nove
l of a bourgeois London gentleman investigating a northern cousin's immolation under similar circumstances. In Yorkshire, Albert Mirrals gradually finds that the rational explanations he once entertained for what he believes was his cousin's murder - domestic violence, jealousies - become entwined with the lyrical madness of possession
. Quotations from Yeats and other poets magnify the effects of Littlewood's carefully period proseLittlewood weaves a great story
here, with plenty of questions and atmosphere to keep readers turning the pages.The story was compelling, the characters interesting and complex, and it was an evocative novel
that's going to have a solid place of my bookshelves from now on. Definitely recommended for those who are looking for something beyond typical urban fantasy fare,
for those who enjoy historical fiction, and also, for those like me who have a soft spot for genre-breaking fiction that leaves you hungry for moreThe characters and story itself were absolutely fantastic!
An amazing mystery
that messes with your mind
and keeps you wondering what is happening from start to end . . . incredibly well thought out and put togetherLittlewood has a real talent. The Hidden People
is one of the most well written books I have read this year
This is a super creepy read
whether you want to believe or notThe perfect October readLittlewood's best novel yet
. . . a sustained and convincing
work of traditional gothic horrorThe bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling Victorian mystery - where superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences . . .
Alison Littlewood is the author of A Cold Season, published by Jo Fletcher Books. The novel was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, where it was described as "perfect reading for a dark winter's night." Her most recent novel, The Hidden People, has recently been published to critical acclaim.
Alison's short stories have been picked for Best British Horror 2015, The Best Horror of the Year and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror anthologies, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2013 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10. She also won the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for Short Fiction with her story The Dog's Home, published in The Spectral Book of Horror Stories.
Alison lives with her partner Fergus in Yorkshire, England, in a house of creaking doors and crooked walls. You can talk to her on twitter @Ali__L, see her on Facebook and visit her at www.alisonlittlewood.co.uk.
Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to dead on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.
Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the 'Hidden People' supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .
PRAISE FOR ALISON LITTLEWOOD:
'Alison Littlewood has a real talent for building atmosphere, loaded with the promise of things to come'
'Littlewood is going to be very big indeed'
THE BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY
'[Littlewood] is the real deal, a writer with a unique vision and the talent to make us see the world anew through her eyes'
PETER TENNANT, TTA PRESS.
'Alison Littlewood uses old flavors with a fresh and personal approach, to brew a story both sensible and terrifying at the same time'
'A writer of exceptional skill ... stands alongside the greats of the genre: fertile ground worked by the likes of Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Stephen King ... one of the most exceptional horror authors of the current generation'
Price in the UK
For fans of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Joanne Harris, Angela Carter, Graham Joyce and Jonathan Strange and Mr NorellFrom the author of A Cold Season
, a Richard and Judy pick of 2012