Path of Needles

June 3, 2013 - 12:43 am No Comments

Path of Needles
Author: Alison Littlewood
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Page count: 394pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The new year begins for literature teacher Alice Hyland in April, as the blossom begins to bloom and she sees a fairy tale Blue Bird in her garden, which leaves her a feather on her windowsill. Alice is an expert in fairy tales and seems to live her life ensconced in one, which is why young PC Cate Corbin calls on her expertise when she sees something unusual in a crime scene.
Young Chrissie Farrell is young and beautiful, and on the evening of her being crowned Queen of the Dance, she is abducted and brutally murdered, her body left posed in such a way as to suggest to Cate, that the victim is Snow White. But this is only the first death in what will become a series of murders where expert Alice becomes both consultant and suspect.
Like the original fairy tales themselves, this novel is grim, dark and disturbing. And also rather gruesome!
Littlewood’s knowledge of the origins of fairy tales is well researched and incredibly accurate, adding to the plausibility of the plot. The imagery throughout the novel is striking and vivid, evocative and brutal. Alice and Cate’s relationship is complex and believable as is the police procedural stuff.
With Littlewood’s first novel A Cold Season, she scared and astounded her reader. Many may have asked, can she do it again? Have no doubt, Littlewood’s literary vision is stunning and she has only just started. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Leave a Reply