The Dark Between the Trees by   Fiona Barnett- Book review

Here is my review of The Dark Between the Trees by Fiona Barnett- a spooky gothic thriller that will resonate with anyone who has found themselves lost in the woods

1643: A small group of Parliamentarian soldiers are ambushed in an isolated part of Northern England. Their only hope for survival is to flee into the nearby Moresby Wood… unwise though that may seem. For Moresby Wood is known to be an unnatural place, the realm of witchcraft and shadows, where the devil is said to go walking by moonlight.Seventeen men enter the wood. Only two are ever seen again, and the stories they tell of what happened make no sense. Stories of shifting landscapes, of trees that appear and disappear at will… and of something else. Something dark. Something hungry.
Todayfive women are headed into Moresby Wood to discover  what happened to that unfortunate group of soldiers. Led by Dr Alice Christopher, an historian who has devoted her entire academic career to uncovering the secrets of Moresby Wood. Armed with metal detectors, GPS units, mobile phones and the most recent map of the area, Dr Christopher’s group enters the wood ready for anything.
Or so they think.


I enjoys walking in the North of England and I have to confess, I find walking through some of the old woods and forests a little anxiety provoking-just in case I get lost and never find my way out. So, The Dark Between the Trees by Fiona Barnett struck a note with me.

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased opinion

The story is told from several points of view – the group of men in 1643 and the women in the present time. The main protagonist is the historian Alice Christopher who is determined (beyond the point of obsession) to find out the truth of what happened to the men who got lost in Moresby wood.

Moresby wood which feels like a character in its own right and the author captures the that  terrifying feeling of losing your bearing in a wooded area where all the trees just look the same ( and yes I speak from experience). The myths and folk tales of monsters, witches and people selling the souls to the devil all feed into the charm and mystery. The book builds a scary atmosphere with gentle, sustained dread rather than outright horror.

I found the women of this book more interesting particularly the backstories of the two academics who unfortunately must risk their lives to prove their credibility in a male dominated world. But woods treat the men and women the same with the same tragic consequences.

I felt the book ended a bit too abruptly (I would have liked a little more explanation)but also felt a little too long- there was a lot of backstory to the women that sometimes slowed the pace of the book.

But if you enjoy books with a gothic feel, lots of atmosphere and complex characters, then this is the book for you.

Perfect for Fans

Small Angels by Lauren Owens

Behind the Veil by E. J Dawson – Book review

I enjoyed this atmospheric, gothic ghost story with a strong romance at its core. Here is my review of Behind the Veil by E J Dawson.

@ejdawsonauthor @RRbookTours1  #RRbookto

Behind the Veil

Publication Date: October 1st, 2021

Genre: Gothic Noir/ Paranormal Suspense

Source : Initially R and R book tours but then borrowed from Kindle unlimited

Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?

In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.

For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.

When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.

As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.

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I was particularly impressed with the clear, and inclusive content warning present in the index of the book- not many books highlight miscarriage or loss of children in books and I was glad this was highlighted, so I didn’t have the usual pit in my stomach when I came across this.

But despite the content warning, this was I book I really enjoyed and is full of optimism about life after grief, loss and trauma.

Letitia, the heroine of the book and the main point of view character is a reluctant medium but uses her gifts to help people say goodbye to their loved ones. She has a strict set of rules about the clients she takes one, so turns down the determined Mr Driscoll and his sister. But she relents when she finds out why they are desperate for her help despite the risks to her own life and sanity and helps Mr Driscoll’s niece with her own blossoming gifts. Letitia has to be one of the most interesting characters I have read recently.

The growing attraction and romance between Letitia and Mr Driscoll is slow and provides a counterpoint to the ghosts and some of the darkness of the story. I found myself rooting for Letitia- a survivor who keeps going and can see the good in everyone around her despite the horrors in her own life.

The romance isn’t the main focus of the story and the ghostly element, as well as the mystery of the missing girls, are interesting. I read the book in one sitting to find out who the kidnapper and the ghost was and how the story ended.

I was invited to read the book by RR tours for a free, unbiased opinion but I have also borrowed the book from Kindle unlimited for a reread and help support the author.

Content warning ( from the book)

Miscarriage, suicide, paedophilia, murder, rape and possession- however, there are no graphic descriptions.

Perfect for fans

Anyone who enjoys mild horror, or gothic romances.

The Golden Key by Marian Womack- Book Review

The Golden Key, by Marian Womack, is a fantasy that has all my favourite themes- a suitably gothic atmosphere, the supernatural, creepy villains and a rational, feminist detective has a mystery to solve.

The Golden Key is another book I picked because of the amazing cover. But I am glad that I did buy this book and finished the book in one sitting. The story is so much more than then you would expect from the blurb’s description. This book has seances, mysteries, great characters, a suitably eerie atmosphere, creepy villains, feminism and other interesting strands but would be spoiling the book if I mentioned anymore.

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