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Wychwood by George Mann

Wychwood by George Mann is a supernatural crime novel with a strong folk horror theme running through it. Elspeth, a journalist, has split from her partner Adam and has returned from London to the village of Wilsby-under-Wychwood, the Oxfordshire village where she grew up. The moment she arrives to stay with her mother Dorothy she stumbles upon a nearby murder scene - and discovers that the police officer investigating the case is her old childhood friend Peter. Realising that the murder appears to be mimicking a gruesome legend from local folklore, Elspeth teams up with Peter to find out who might be trying to emulate the mythical Carrion King, and why.

On paper, this is the sort of book I ought to enjoy, but Wychwood was lacking in so many areas that I'm not sure I'd have finished it had I not been reading it on a long car journey. In some ways, it feels like a first draft or a detailed synopsis rather than a finished novel.

Elspeth and Peter both seem pleasant enough, but t…

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