Monday 25 January 2021

Into The Woods by David Mark | Blog Tour #IntoTheWoods

[AD/Gifted - I was provided with an eBook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Into The Woods by David Mark - 4/5

"Thirty years ago, three girls followed a stranger into the woods. Only two returned. The surviving pair have never been able to remember what happened or what the fate of the third girl was. Local rumours talk of hippies and drugs and mystic rituals, but no one has learned the truth.

This story is just what Rowan Blake needs. He's in debt, his journalistic career is in tatters - as well as his damaged body - and he's retreated to the Lake District to write. Yet even Rowan isn't prepared for the evil he is about to unearth, for the secrets that have been buried in that wood for far too long..."

This is a wonderfully descriptive slow burner. 

You are drawn in instantly with the description of a girl who seems to be being tortured. Then, we see that a short Tweet from a journalist named Rowan Blake has had a reply from a neo-Nazi telling him that he was "going to burn". Very intriguing.

In present day, we follow Rowan whose life has basically gone to pot. He went from being journalist to author to TV presenter and then right back down again. He had one decent book about a real-life serial killer but despite being told that he has a knack of getting into people's heads, he didn't get many sales and he is desperate to make some money with another. 

We also have flashbacks from the late 1980s to early 1990s at a school called Silver Birch. It is not your typical school, a bit "hippy" and they focus on reiki and shamanic healing. This is a recurrent theme running throughout the book. Here, we follow Violet and Catherine then their new friend Freya. The three of them go missing but only Violet and Catherine return.

Back in present day, Rowan is currently living in his sister's land with injured hands that he has had a skin graft on. With publishers asking for pages for his new book, he needs to find something worth writing about. His pre-teen neice Snowdrop makes a portfolio of all of the articles he's written, in a way to boost his spirits, and he comes across the story of the Three Girls. He then vows to find out what happened to the third one who was never found. Rowan enlists Snowdrop to help with the writing.

Rowan's sister, and Snowdrop's mother, Serendipity is acquaintances with one of the girls who was abducted - Violet. He then uses his journalistic background to dig deeper and get in contact with anyone who may have information, from neighbours to police officers and staff from the school. He is definitely looking at this from a "How much money can it make me?" point of view, rather than actually trying to find justice.

This book is so descriptive. The jumble of the women's memories really makes you as the reader feel confused. It has been a long time since I've read a book that is as descriptive as this. Not only does it put you in the scene but you can imagine smells and tastes too. I genuinely felt queasy at some scenes. It keeps you guessing right up until the very end.

Thank you very much to Aries Fiction for having me on the blog tour. Check out the other book bloggers in the graphic above for their reviews too.

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