Saxon’s Bane

November 7, 2013 - 4:49 am No Comments

Saxon’s Bane
Author: Geoffrey Gudgion
Publisher: Solaris
Page count: 288pp
Release Date: 25th Aug 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel

There are good books, there are very good books and then there is a small sub set of books that are so good and so believable in their characterisationand sense of place that you don’t just read them, you live them and miss them when you are finished. This first novel by Geoffrey Gudgeon easily falls into this later catagory.

The story starts with two life changing events. On the road above the village of Allingby Fergus Sheppard and his colleague Kate are involved in a terrible car crash, while at the same time, in the village itself archeologist Clare Harvey uncovers the body of a saxon warrior preserved in a peat bog.

As Fergus begins his recovery he returns to Allingby where the sedate pace of life seems to suit him, he makes friends and also meets up with Kate. Kate is having problems though, the saxon warrior and the partial skeleton of a woman found near it are troubling her dreams, she seems to be living out their story in her sleep.

The story is very much in the style of classic English countryside style horror/suspense (think The Wicker Man or Children of the Stones) where you have outsiders coming to what is often a very insular way of life. In the village itself you have both the christian community an the followers of ‘The Old Ways’ both of which rub along together very easily but there is also local bad boy Jake Herne who, along with his cronies is practicing a darker way.

The paths of Fergus, Kate and Jake will cross around the May Day ceremonies in a chain of events that will affect many in the village.

As someone who holidayed in a small English village as a youngster I can honestly say the author has got the way of life spot on in this enjoyable but at times unsettling debut 5/5

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