Magic and murder meet in Suffolk, with short stories exploring the spirit of place, and the dark side of belief.
A Dangerous Place is an anthology of crime stories all set in the same place, but spread out over the course of two thousand years. Each crime is set against the backdrop of changing religious and magical/mystical beliefs, such as Iron-Age Druidry, Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, Victorian Spiritualism, & modern neo-paganism, and interweaves old-fashioned detection with mysticism and criminal psychology.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
A great collection, and a great read! ~ Bonnie Cehovet, https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/review-a-dangerous-place/
A Dangerous Place has one of the cleverest and most original premises I’ve seen in Pagan-related fiction for a very long time. It’s a collection of short stories, all murder mysteries, which all take place in different periods of history (from Iron Age right up to present day) but in the same place – Ipswich in Suffolk, East England. What makes this book of interest to Pagans is that every story has some kind of occult, magical or Pagan aspect. ~ Megan Manson, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pagantama/2016/07/27/pagan-shinto-spiritual-book-reviews-july-2016/
Robin Herne may be poised to do for Ipswich what Bram Stoker did for Whitby. Anyone reading A Dangerous Place will be left feeling that Ipswich is a bit sinister and decidedly interesting. From tales of malevolent Druids through to modern day acts of slaughter, Herne tracks a murderous impulse across time as something about Castle Hill assert a baleful influence upon the locals.
Herne blends history with imagination and provides notes between chapters so you know which is which. This whole book is an exploration of genius loci, ancestry of place, history and story making. The collection demonstrates how potently story connects us to landscapes and brings dry fact to life. There are so many different voices in these stories too, giving the impression Robin may have camped at Castle Hill, listening to the howling and ranting of the troubled dead. Unlike many of his characters, he appears not to have been driven to madness or violence by the voices in the wind.
Stylistically, this book put me in mind of Agatha Christie, and Conan Doyle’s supernatural stories. This is proper old-fashioned gothic fiction, heavy on the uncanny, light on the gory details. Robin leaves you to imagine the hideous elements. It’s an excellent combination, which fans of traditional horror and weird tales will love.
I could write at length about the many themes and implications of this splendid piece of work as it provides a wealth of material and ideas to ponder and enjoy. Pagan readers are going to relish it, as I suspect will Steampunks. Anyone who likes their horror creepy and menacing rather than well-lit and covered in fake blood, will delight in the understated malevolence. These stories are gripping, engaging, thoughtful and underpinned by a lot of solid research. I loved them. ~ Nimue Brown, author of gothic graphic novel series Hopeless Maine