For Iain's latest offering we return to Redlake. A town that readers of Wright's books will already be aware of. Let me just start by saying that at first, I was unsure whether this story would be my cup of tea. By the end of the book I was totally blown away.
We follow the story of sixteen year old Scarlet Thomas. Scarlet lives with her father, a single parent, following her mother walking out on her own family mysteriously some ten years previous.
They had relocated to Redlake following her dad losing his previous job in their hometown of Moseley. His insecurities in his new job had subsequently led to him becoming a workaholic, his love for his child unquestionable, but his need to provide for her greater than the time that they spent together.
Since moving to Redlake, Scarlet hadn't made many friends. Her social circle mainly consisted of her boss Mr Chester and her colleague Indy where she worked in the Little Treasures Emporium. A shop on the High Street that sold rare books and artefacts. Scarlet had once taken liking to a necklace, that her employer had sold to her with an agreement that payment would be deducted from her wages in instalments.
On her way home from work one evening, Scarlet walks down by the lake and helps and finds a man on the banks; Alone, confused, naked.
This sparks the beginning of an unlikely companionship with the man that she names 'Sorrow.' As the story unfolds, Sorrow proclaims that he has been sent to protect Scarlet.
Not to give too much away with this, the story will contain demons, witches and a secret society called the White Order. As Scarlet's powers awaken, It unfolds nicely. Why did Scarlet's mother really disappear? Who is the real Mister Chester?
The story swerves and twists right up to the finale where Scarlet has to make the ultimate decision to sacrifice one life in exchange for many.
I would have this down as a crossover between supernatural horror and fantasy. Something that I was unsure about at first, but thoroughly enjoyed.