Sally Hinchcliffe’s Hare House is a modern-day witch story, perfect for fans of Pine and The Loney.
There was nothing there, I thought. Nothing but the shadows of the trees, my own imagination. It was only when it moved that I could make it out, the silent hare, turning and loping away into the dark.
In the first brisk days of autumn, a woman arrives in Scotland having left her job at an all-girls school in London in mysterious circumstances. Moving into a cottage on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home – a patchwork of hills, moorland and forest. But among the tiny roads, dykes and scattered houses, something more sinister lurks: local tales of witchcraft, clay figures and young men sent mad.
Striking up a friendship with her landlord, Grant, and his younger sister, Cass, she begins to suspect that all might not be quite as it seems at Hare House. And as autumn turns to winter, and a heavy snowfall traps the inhabitants of the estate within its walls, tensions rise to fever pitch.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 41 members
I couldn't resist a Gothic story set in the Scottish Highlands, and Hare House doesn't disappoint. It's a moody, brooding story that ends with as many loose threads as it does answers - but that didn't bother me. The atmosphere of this novel absorbs; the characters bewitch; and the story haunts. The perfect chilling read for a cold fall night, curled up with a cup of tea - just be sure to leave the light on.
Sally Hinchcliffe's Hare House is a masterclass in how to write atmospheric, unnerving fiction. This is slightly witchy, slightly ghostly, but all together a unsettling read with a protagonist you can't always quite trust yourself. Hinchcliffe's writing made the isolated rural setting come alive and every page crackles with a spooky tension. The recurrent imagery of the hare and its links to witchcraft is really well done - the imagine of the stuffed and dressed hares will stay with me. This is a fantastic gothic read which makes you question every character and while it doesn't quite answer everything that is going on in the Hare House and the rest of the estate, it leaves you with enough of a chill that it's just as satisfying.
Thank you to Netgalley and Mantle for this ARC in exchange for a fair review.