I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first time reading Simon R. Green and I was not disappointed.
This book is clearly part of a series, but I found that it didn’t impede the ability to follow the story at all, having not read any previous books.
This story sees Ishmael and Penny venturing out to the countryside near Bath, England with not much information given by the mysterious colonel other than, a mysterious hole has appeared in the hillside and they are to assist the Organisation placed scientific team. One person has already fallen victim to the strange hole, an archaeologist who was part of a dig team fell in and never returned. Once Ismael and Penny arrive, things start to get even weirder, the questions of what is the hole? What is it doing here? Who sent it? What does it want? build as the scientific team start to die one by one. Who could be doing it? Is it something coming out of the hole? Is it someone inside the camp? Or is it the hole itself? These questions sat with me right up until the end, and were the reason that I sat up until past midnight finishing this book. There’s also the question of, which scientist’s theory is correct? The best in their fields, they all have ideas on what the mysterious hole could be.
This is a slow burn story, but I find it worked well, it moved fast enough that it held interest and slow enough to drive you crazy wanting all of your questions answered. I found the characters well written, it is clear that there is more than meets the eye with Ismael Jones, and obviously, reading the rest of the series would bring some of this to light. However, it didn’t confuse me not knowing the backstory of Ishmael, Penny, or the Organisation. The story telling was done well, creating the isolated, creepy vibe of being alone out in the English countryside with a strange hole and something stalking the characters through the night.
This was my first book by Green, but it definitely will not be my last. Very impressed.