Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz

August 17, 2017

One foul night while her husband is away, an old friend turns up on Claire’s doorstep and begs for her help. She knows she should refuse, but she owes him. Despite her better judgement, Claire finds herself helping to bury something in the woods. The question is, will it stay buried, and can Claire live with the knowledge of what she has done?

I’ll begin with an admission. I was late to the party when it came to The Three by Sarah Lotz. Once I read it though, I quickly realised I was going to be a fan of her work. I devoured Day Four, it was also superb. Since then, the prospect of a new title by this author has filled me with a near uncontrollable glee. Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Sarah Lotz’ latest novella from NewCon Press, and the good news is that it’s another masterclass in storytelling.

There is something endlessly fascinating about watching a character unravel. Claire starts this story content with her life. After years of uncertainty she has settled down and is happy with her lot. When an old friend appears unexpectedly she quickly finds her life, and mental state, spiralling out of control. I think the thing I find most impressive about Body in the Woods is the way Lotz’ writing conveys Claire’s innermost thoughts and feelings. As the plot unfolds, the anguish and creeping paranoia Claire experiences becomes almost too much to bear.

You can’t help but wonder how you would fare in Claire’s shoes. How far would you go for a friend? What would you be prepared to do? How well do you know the people in your life? In all honesty, I’m not sure how I would react if I found myself in this situation. Claire’s panic and ever-growing unease certainly feel like legitimate responses to me.

It’s always good when you find an author who’s writing never fails to disappoint. It doesn’t matter if it is a short story, a novella or a novel Sarah Lotz work always holds my attention. I read Body in the Woods in a single sitting. There was an urgency to the narrative that feels almost infectious, and I didn’t want to stop reading until the final outcome was revealed. I’d recommend this novella to anyone looking for a disquieting tale that delivers in spades. Once you’ve read it, you may never look at your friends in quite the same way again.

Body in the Woods is published by NewCon Press and is available from 18th August.

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