24 November 2011

High Moor by Graeme Reynolds

High Moor by Graeme Reynolds

Published: 16 November 2011 by Horrific Tales Publishing

Pages: 354 pages (ePub)

Genre/s: Horror, Paranormal

Source: Author for review


When John Simpson hears of a bizarre animal attack in his old home town of High Moor, it stirs memories of a long forgotten horror. John knows the truth. A werewolf stalks town once more, and on the night of the next full moon, the killing will begin again. He should know. He survived a werewolf attack in 1986, during the worst year of his life. 

It’s 1986 and the town is gripped in terror after the mutilated corpse of a young boy is found in the woods. When Sergeant Steven Wilkinson begins an investigation, with the help of a specialist hunter, he soon realises that this is no ordinary animal attack. Werewolves are real, and the trail of bodies is just beginning, with young John and his friends smack in the middle of it.

Twenty years later, John returns to High Moor. The latest attack involved one of his childhood enemies, but there’s more going on than meets the eye. The consequences of his past actions, the reappearance of an old flame and a dying man who will either save or damn him, are the least of his problems. The night of the full moon is approaching and time is running out.

But how can he hope to stop a werewolf, when every full moon he transforms into a bloodthirsty monster himself?

My Thoughts

High Moor is my first ever werewolf novel. I wasn't sure whether to be excited or apprehensive. I'm not good outside my comfort zone (it’s called comfort for a reason!).

We begin with a prologue set in England in 2008, with a man shutting himself in his basement and a Rottweiler mutilated and killed in a local park. Despite the short prologue, the scene is perfectly set for what is to come.

The story really begins in High Moor, 1986. The descriptions of the down-trodden and depressed town which has been sliding into decay since the closure of the local mines are enthralling – I was instantly transported into the gray world of semi-poverty, fish and chip shops and small town bullies seen in so many TV series, movies and documentaries about 1980’s England.

''Steven thought the town was like a monstrous parasite, sucking the life, hope, and ambition from everyone unfortunate enough to live here.''

As the story progressed, I found myself more and more drawn to the werewolves and The Pack, the illuminati of the werewolf world, and the characters within the book. The characters were so vividly drawn, I could hear their northern -English accents and visualize the way they moved and their homes and surroundings.

The return to High Moor in 2008 is also fantastically described and again conjures visions of small working-class northern-English towns and the connections between the residents, who have been born, grown up and will die in the same place, surrounded by the same people.

''A gang of youths in hooded tops stood in the doorway of an empty shop, casting nervous glances along the street. A young child, no more than ten years old, cycled past on a BMX and, as he passed the group, he handed them a clear plastic bag containing white powder, then pedalled away as fast as he could.''

High Moor is fast-paced, creepy and gives a completely enthralling concept of werewolves that I hadn’t imaged would be contained in this book.

Will there be a sequel? I bloody-well hope so! I was incredibly disappointed when High Moor ended (in a good way!) – I want Moor! (see my joke there?)

I understand this is Mr. Reynolds’ first full-length novel and he has a lot to be very proud of.

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