CRYPT: The Gallows Curse by Andrew Hammond

When a crime is committed and the police are at a loss, CRYPT is called in to figure out whether something paranormal is at work. Jud is their star agent.
Jud, unwillingly paired with new recruit Bex, has just landed his biggest case yet … people have been disappearing in mysterious circumstances while others are viciously attacked – yet there are no suspects and a complete lack of hard evidence. The only thing that links each attack is the fact that survivors all claim that the culprits were 17th century highwaymen.

This book scared me…

But then that is what you want from a horror novel. In my defence I was on the Central Line when I started reading!

The last time this happened I was about 13 and reading a book called The Fear of Samuel Walton by Roger J. Green, about a standing stone on a farm and a boy called Samuel Walton that was touched by its evil. Good book – if you can still find it!
Anyway, on to CRYPT; they are a secret branch of MI5 tasked with combatting paranormal menaces when everything else has been tried, including closing your eyes and wishing very hard that whatever it is would go away.

Following the tried and tested format of uniting loner (and bit of a loose cannon) Jud, 16 years old, he is bitter and twisted by tragic events in his past that continue to affect his present and Bex (Rebecca) fresh out of training and ready to face whatever the job throws at her. The writing is fantastic, with the players being fully formed with no two dimensional characterisation but the horror scenes are where this book really shines, the writing is visceral and actions of the antagonists brutal and bloody. Every twisted scene is meticulously described in vivid detail.
That said, this is not just a standard slasher gore-fest, this book contains history and true facts – if you pay attention you will learn as you are being traumatised. The nuggets of history and London geography form an integral part of the story and made me want to research some of the history in more detail (I will not mention it as it may spoil the enjoyment of the book).

The Gallows Curse left me wanting to read the follow up Traitor’s Revenge now!

In closing if you enjoy past-paced reads, brimming with science, action, adventure and a massive amount of horror then read this book, share it and remember do not start reading in the Underground!

I have chosen The Gallows Curse to be one of the main titles in the All Hallows Read event that I will be running in my school at the end of October.

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